Frostburg State University planning on honoring Brownsville community with monument

Maryland

At Frostburg State University there is a lot of African American history. What now is the Quad is where a group of African Americans lived in a community called Brownsville. 

“It’s original how many of those property deeds where deeds with woman and by 1870 there were 98 people living here in 18 different homes,” said Lynn Bowman, the author of Black in Brownsville: Echoes of a “Forgotten” Frostburg

“The people here usually had their small businesses there laundresses and carters and there were blacksmiths and gardeners,” said Bowman. 

However, as Frostburg State University expanded many of the residents were uprooted from their community. Many were given $10 for their homes and had to move. 

Carmen Jackson is an in-law of people who lived in Brownsville. She says her father in law used to live on Park Avenue. 

“He would always tell me his heart break about being moved out of the house where he was,” said Jackson.  

The Frostburg State University community is now doing their part to pay homage to those who lived in that community. They’re planning on erecting a bronze relief monument on the quad. Kaitlyn Wharton is a student who took the pencil sketch of the monument and rendered it digitally. 

“There will be a large boulder that will be put in to the ground to establish a foundation and it will look like a prowl of a ship emerging from the side of the mountain here,” said Wharton.

“I think by putting the history forward on this campus so people know that African Americans were apart of this great community in terms of building it,” said Carmen Jackson.  

“I am happy that we are having this monument done here on this campus to let people know we were descendants here on this campus,” said Janet Jackson, Carmen Jackson’s sister in law. 

And Ronald Nowaczyk, president of the institution, says those in Brownsville made a major sacrifice that needs recognition. 

“That sacrifice made by the African American community and this region is something we need to recognize,” said Nowaczyk. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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