Keeping the Legacy Alive with Kenneth Morris: Banneker-Douglass Museum partners with St. John’s College

— Banneker-Douglass Museum recently joined with the Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation; Four Rivers: The Heritage of Annapolis, London Town, and South County; Lost Town Project; Anne Arundel County Office of Planning and Zoning; and St. John’s College to host Keeping the Legacy Alive, a lecture presented by Kenneth Morris. Kenneth Morris, a descendant of noted civil rights leaders Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, discussed how Frederick Douglass’ legacy has inspired his life and contributed to his work as a social activist. The event comes in celebration of the Year of Frederick Douglass, which commemorates the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of the renowned abolitionist and Maryland native.

“The Banneker-Douglass Museum remains committed to keeping the legacy and spirit of Frederick Douglass and other noted civil rights leaders vibrant in our communities through the promotion and preservation of Maryland’s rich African American History and Culture,” said Chanel Compton, Director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. “We appreciate the continued work of individuals like Kenneth Morris to inspire new generations of socially-conscious Marylanders who are dedicated to making an impact in the world around them.”

Kenneth Morris currently serves as the co-founder and President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. He is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. Through the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, Kenneth Morris has worked to educate youth on all forms of forced servitude – including human trafficking – and to inspire action. In celebration of the Year of Frederick Douglass, the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives announced the One Million Abolitionist project, a partnership with various organizations – including Banneker Douglass Museum – to distribute one million copies of a special Bicentennial edition of Frederick Douglass’s first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, to young people across the United States.

In early February, Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation declaring 2018 as the “Year of Frederick Douglass.” In celebration, the Banneker-Douglass Museum has partnered with various organizations to host educational seminars, celebrations, and events across the state. To see a full list of events visit:

New ‘Religious Freedom’ appointee is a religious bigot

The newest addition to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, does not believe in religious freedom.

Perkins, who was appointed to the post by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), will now serve on a commission that supposedly serves as a watchdog “dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad,” even though he has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not believe in the equal protection of Muslims and others.

The commission has a long history of politicization, along with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT bias. Perkins’ inclusion will only continue to undermine its credibility.

While he claims to support religious freedom, Perkins believes that the Constitution does not protect the rights of Muslims.

He has said that “those who practice Islam in its entirety” should not be afforded the same constitutional freedoms as other Americans since Islam, in his words, is “incompatible with the Constitution” — an obviously false claim that, in reality, flies in the face of our Constitution. He even goes so far as to make the absurd and bizarre claim that “only 16 percent of Islam is a religion.”

A top official of his organization, the Family Research Council, once called for a ban on mosques, and the group published an essay arguing that Islam is not really a religious faith but rather “a religious government, the establishment of which the Establishment Clause prohibits.” This is clearly nonsensical. He has also smeared and vilified Muslims as violent people and claimed that the U.S. is under no obligation to safeguard their rights.

Beyond Muslims, Perkins has also questioned whether Christians who support marriage equality and members of “fringe religions” should have the same rights under the Constitution as those who follow his personal brand of Christianity. He has also criticized supporters of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state as “cultural terrorists.”

Perkins’ appalling record doesn’t end there, as he is also known for his vicious bigotry towards the LGBT community.

He has called transgender identity a “perversion” and had a role in shaping the Trump administration’s ban on transgender military service members, insisting that it would be “better” to disband the military altogether rather than allow transgender people to serve.

He once praised legislation in Uganda that would have included heinous punishments for homosexuality, including the death penalty, as an effort to “uphold moral conduct” and warned that marriage equality would lead to a revolution and second holocaust.

A commission that ostensibly acts as a fair-minded monitor that calls out other countries for endangering liberties can’t have much standing if one of its own members is actively working to undermine it.

Brian Tashman is a Political Researcher and Strategist for the ACLU

Gallery 90 exhibit features local folk art quilts ‘Wrapped In Love’

— Team members and visitors of Hospice of the Chesapeake are feeling the comfort and caring of an annual exhibit of a meticulous and generous art form by a special group of people in the community.

Gallery 90, the art gallery located throughout the nonprofit’s administrative building on the John & Cathy Belcher Campus, 90 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena, will feature “Wrapped in Love,” an exhibit of some of the many lap quilts created and donated by individuals and guilds to bring comfort to patients in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

Local quilting circles have provided hundreds of quilts with a patriotic theme to give to Veterans as part of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Honor Salutes over the past several years. They also have crafted quilts for its other patients, including whimsically themed quilts for pediatric patients.

Of the 12 quilts gracing the walls through June 20, one will see works by the Down’s Park Quilting Club, Friendship Quilters, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Quilters, Great Circle Quilting Club and Cathie Logie. Other guilds regularly donating to patients include Comfort Quilters, Eternal Quilters and St. Paul Lutheran Church of Crofton Quilters. One guild that crochets afghans is Patterns of Faith.

A quilters’ reception will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, June 8, 2018. To register for the reception, or to schedule a private, docent-led tour of the exhibit, contact Renate Little at 443-837-1512 or

Annapolis-Born Rocket Scientist Simplifies Engineering

Rocket science has historically been considered difficult because the slightest mistake could wreck a multi-billion-dollar mission. But one Annapolis-born rocket scientist says, not everything is— well— rocket science.

“I think the thing is that it’s sort of this mystery about rocket science. Almost a fear, really intense,” said Monique Dalton, an electrical engineer, who is working on a new rocket in development by Orbital ATK, the global leader in aerospace and defense technologies.

“But, it’s really not that complicated which is why I love doing STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] events where we try and get kids interested,” said Dalton, a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park.

Dalton is part a team designing and building a new rocket called, OmegA.

As one of Orbital ATK’s largest strategic investments, OmegA, will provide intermediate to heavy-class launch services for the Department of Defense, civil government and commercial customers.

With headquarters in Dulles, Virginia, the company delivers space, defense and aviation-related systems to customers around the world both as a prime contractor and as a merchant supplier. Its primary products include: launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; satellites and associated components and services; composite aerospace structures; tactical missiles, subsystems and defense electronics; and precision wea pons, armament systems and ammunition.

Dalton says the motivation that led to career as a rocket scientist comes from her mother and that drive continues to manifest itself through the work she performs.

“I have a role model in my mother who is a Hispanic computer engineer and she encouraged me from a young age to pursue my dreams,” Dalton said. “I had that model to say, ‘Yes, you can be a woman and succeed in the technical world.’ Through this job, I can inspire young women and create all these new innovative solutions. It’s really important in the workplace to have diversity and a diversity of ideas to create such solutions.”

Because of her upbringing in historic Annapolis, Dalton says she always felt the need to be challenged. The naval academy in Annapolis and the overall sophistication of the city’s residents helped to inspire confidence.

“Now, I’m working on the OmegA rocket and it’s an exciting thing for us,” Dalton said. “One of the great things is that it has launched national security payloads [or, freight] for the Air Force and it also has science and commercial payloads so you’re able to think about what sorts of things it includes and not only the idea of launching something into space but launching something that’s a protection for our nation which also makes it patriotic.”

Volunteer work is also a major part of Dalton’s life, she said.

“I found that I have been able to resonate with people here at Orbital ATK because there are a lot of STEM and STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics] events

including an event in Arizona where we have 24 booths dedicated to science,” she said.

For Dalton, it’s also important that young people understand that rocket science isn’t as daunting as many believe.

“When you break it down, you really get an understanding of it all,” she said. “If we can’t break it down to explain it to elementary school children, then there must be something that we don’t understand.”

BGE Residential Customers’ Electric Bills to Decrease

The average BGE residential customer who purchases electricity from BGE will see a bill reduction of $11 a month starting June 1, 2018 due to the lowest electric commodity prices in a decade and distribution rate reductions spurred by federal tax reform.

“Customers are reaping the benefits of historic commodity prices and BGE’s innovative and effective efficiency programs. Customers have greater control over the cost of their electric service through managing their energy use, which lowers their bills and helps us meet our efficiency goals,” said Rodney Oddoye, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Our customers are also experiencing the most reliable energy grid in our history. We’ve invested heavily in equipment upgrades and maintenance to better serve our customers with quality electric power and safe, reliable natural gas and it’s paying off.”

The average BGE residential customer’s total monthly bill remains lower than 2008 levels. In addition, customers who take advantage of BGE’s energy efficiency programs and who manage their energy use with real-time information provided by smart meters also use less electricity, save more on their bills.

Customers are also realizing the benefits of federal tax reductions that have resulted in monthly bills reductions amounting to $103 million in tax savings annually for all BGE customers.

BGE offers programs that can help customers save energy and money, especially during times of higher temperatures that often lead to higher energy usage. The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program® can help identify new ways to save energy, money and the environment. The program, which supports the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act, has provided $779 million in rebates to BGE customers and helped customers save more than 3.3 million megawatt-hours of electricity. EmPOWER Maryland programs are funded by a charge on your electric bill. EmPOWER programs can help you reduce your electricity consumption and save you money.

Conservation Organizations, Green Street Academy Students Plant Pollinator Garden

— The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), National Aquarium, Blue Water Baltimore and Maryland officials planted a 5,000 sq. ft. pollinator garden with students and staff at Green Street Academy on Friday, May 11, 2018. The native plant garden will provide vital habitat for Baltimore’s iconic orioles, other local birds, bees and butterflies.

“Together with our many partners, we are working to create a cleaner, greener Baltimore,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of NWF. “Establishing wildlife-friendly habitat across Baltimore, like Green Street Academy is doing today, is good for everyone, from families who will breathe cleaner air and enjoy cleaner water to wildlife that will have more places to thrive. These spaces also benefit kids in our current era of electronic overload helping them enjoy greater connections with nature, more time outdoors and safer places to play.”

The Green Street Academy pollinator meadow will serve as an outdoor learning laboratory, where students can experience the wonder of monarch butterfly metamorphosis and discover how to help pollinators thrive. These backyard gardens and green spaces also help improve water quality by reducing polluted stormwater runoff going into the Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.

“Among the many invaluable assets of our City and region is the access we enjoy to the Chesapeake Bay and the diverse wildlife that we have an obligation to protect,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “We’re so honored, to be designated as a Community Wildlife Habitat, a result of the tireless work of our partners at the National Wildlife Federation, the National Aquarium and schools such as Green Street Academy, which is committed to enhancing student appreciation for our rich natural resources. With this designation, we accept our responsibility to increase our efforts to protect our natural world, even while we pledge our continued efforts to make Baltimore cleaner, greener and safer for all our residents.”

At the event, Baltimore City received official certification as the largest Community Wildlife Habitat™ in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“Marylanders know the value of the Chesapeake Bay, and that Baltimore plays a critical role in the overall Chesapeake Bay restoration effort. That’s why I am tremendously proud that Baltimore City is now the largest Community Wildlife Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “When we create new green spaces, we help waterways, provide educational opportunities and build communities. I applaud the National Aquarium, National Wildlife Federation and the diverse array of other partners who have combined their efforts to help make such success possible, both in Baltimore and beyond.”

“I’m excited to join the National Wildlife Federation and the National Aquarium as well as their partners, Baltimore City and Green Street Academy, to recognize the city’s certification as the largest Community Wildlife Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “This recognition highlights Baltimore’s success in creating community green spaces and wildlife habitats and in promoting sustainability. These efforts ultimately support a healthy Bay, healthy communities, and a healthy economy in Maryland.”

NWF’s Community Wildlife Habitat program empowers citizen leaders to take action for wildlife in their communities and provide habitat where people live, work, learn, play, and worship. In Baltimore, NWF has certified more than 500 homes, community spaces, schools and other educational centers. Each certified site uses sustainable gardening practices and provides the four basic elements that all wildlife need to survive: shelter, food, a water source and places to raise young, such as a flower bed or shrub.

“Baltimore’s new certification as the largest Community Wildlife Habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed underscores the city’s environmental leadership,” said Congressman John Sarbanes, who co-chairs the Chesapeake Bay Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives. “As a prime example of our city’s deep commitment to the environment, look no further than Green Street Academy’s pollinator garden, which provides our students with hands-on outdoor learning experiences, instills a sense of environmental stewardship in the next generation and makes a lasting and meaningful impact on Bay health.”

Heavily developed, metropolitan areas such as Baltimore are home to two-thirds of all North American species of wildlife and contain valuable habitat in the form of local parks and open spaces that support both year-round and migratory wildlife.

Green Street Academy is located within the Gwynns Falls watershed of the Bay where NWF is working to create a network of wildlife habitat on school grounds. The new garden is one of several large-scale stormwater best management practices NWF is developing with the school. This work complements the existing environmental projects at the school, including installing a solar array and a greenhouse.

Historian Remembers Blacks as ‘Original Horse Whisperers’ on Eve of Preakness Stakes

Post time for the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes is 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Pimlico, where approximately 120,000 people will be in attendance and millions more watching on television around the globe.

The historic race commonly referred to as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans,” has a unique place in American horse racing history and Pimlico, it’s home along Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore got its name from a horse who won the stakes more than a century ago. However, often buried in that history is the significant role of African-Americans, particularly jockeys.

“Horse racing is the first American sport and Maryland has a pretty unique role in being one of the first states with tracks and having a competition,” said historian Stuart Hudgins.

Before the first running of the Preakness in 1873, African-Americans dominated the sport, with black jockeys winning the Kentucky Derby, according to Hudgins. Most of the top jockeys were black, he said.

Hudgins recalled that slaves in the south grew up on farms, working in stables, and plantation owners wouldn’t hesitate to put their slaves on their horses’ backs in informal racing in the south.

When racing became an organized sport in the early 19th century, black boys and men were in the vanguard in the saddle, dominating racing until the turn of the century.

However, the landmark 1896 Supreme Court decision in the Plessy v. Ferguson matter changed everything.

That decision upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation after a black train passenger named Homer Plessy refused to sit in a car for African-Americans. The Supreme Court rejected Plessy’s argument that his constitutional rights were violated – a decision that would later be used to strengthen racist Jim Crow laws and separate public accommodations based on race.

“When that happened, there was an extreme fall off in the thousands of contests that African-Americans were able to compete for and eventually they were out of horse racing altogether,” Hudgins said. “We were the original trainers, the grooms, the jockeys. We’ve had such a rich tradition and we had black people who cared for those horses, talked to them— African-Americans were the original horse whisperers,” he said.

Isaac Murphy was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby three times, and he was the first black jockey to be inducted in the Thoroughbred racing Hall of Fame in 1955. Oliver Lewis, the winning jockey in the first Kentucky Derby, in 1875, was African-American, one of 13 black jockeys in a 15-horse race that year.

Willie Simms, a 1977 Racing Hall of Fame inductee, won back-to-back Belmont Stakes in 1893 and 1894 and twice won the Kentucky Derby. In 1898, Simms, an African-American reigned at Pimlico, winning the Preakness riding his horse named “Sly Fox.”

Black jockeys won 15 of the first 28 Kentucky Derbies, Hudgins said, referring to a Forbes Magazine article that detailed these accomplishments. But at any racetrack in this country now, you’d have a hard time finding an African-American in the saddle, the article noted.

In the early days of racing in this country, African-American faces were prominent.

On May 10, 1889, George “Spider” Anderson became the first African-American to win the Preakness, which at the time consisted of just two horses at a purse of about $2,000.

Now, 10 horses compete in the Preakness with more than $1.5 million at stake. Hudgins says African-Americans are no longer central to the Preakness or horse racing in general. He recalled what the late African-American tennis great, Arthur Ashe, once said.

“It’s the saddest case,” Ashe said in a 1988 interview when he compared blacks in horse racing in the late 19th century to their modern-day domination in the National Basketball Association.

“Over the years, we as African-Americans got rooted out,” Hudgins said. “When I looked at the tradition of racing, you see we had locally in the Baltimore area townspeople who were heroes and who were acknowledged to be ex

Blacks Can’t Afford to Ignore Dental Health

While Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide a safety net access to dental care is a big issue, especially for children of color.

“Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the United States, five times as prevalent as asthma, and dental care is one of the nation’s greatest unmet children’s health needs,” according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

Sometimes children’s parents simply don’t arrange for them to see a dentist. Sometimes, dental services are not available in particular areas, for example, dental needs are sometimes more likely to be addressed in emergency rooms than dental clinics. A 2016 report from the Department of Health and Human Services said that dental provider shortages were at least part of the reason some children, especially low-income black and Hispanic children, lack dental care.

Children pay a big price when their dental needs are not met. In the worst and most extreme cases, as in that of Maryland’s Deamonte Driver, children can die, because they do not have access to basic dental services.

“Childhood dental decay can lead to pain, difficulty eating, speaking and sleeping, and more serious infections, some of which can be life-threatening,” said Dr. Diane Earle, the managing dental director for Kool Smiles.

To address some of the need, Kool Smiles is offering free dental care to children in need on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Forty-nine offices in 13 states plus Washington, D.C. will be open to provide dental exams, extractions, fillings, sealants and other emergency services. The free day is open to children who either lack insurance or are underinsured.

To be sure, Kool Smiles can’t possibly provide a smile for every child, but they are taking a step in the right direction. This year represents the fourth year that the organization has offered the free service. It’s first-come, first-serve, so if you are interested, visit: to find a location in your area and to register for a free appointment.

In the past three years more than 1,400 children have received free dental care with more than 500 being treated last year. Kool Smiles hopes to serve even more children this year.

Access to safe and affordable health care has been part of my portfolio for some years. In 2015, I had the privilege of spending a week at Meharry Medical College, lecturing on health policy. The challenges that people of color face around health care can be distilled to the 3 A’s: Access, Assets and Attitudes. All too often access is limited, because people live in the wrong areas, because providers are unavailable, or because there are other reasons people can’t physically get to the care they need.

Assets determine almost everything— if you don’t have the dollars, no matter what the proximity, you won’t likely have the care you need. Finally, the attitudes of both providers and patients make a difference in who seeks care and in what kind of care is provided. Recent work on maternal mortality among African American women, regardless of race, suggests that racial attitudes in treatment make a difference.

Mental health and dental health are the two parts of healthcare that are most frequently ignored. It is not enough to simply get an annual checkup. Increasing research shows that mental health and physical health are inextricably intertwined. Dental health, all too frequently,

is ignored. Even those with “good” health insurance may have limited dental insurance. And lower-income folks rely on Medicaid and CHIP, but may not have anywhere to go to get the help they need.

Dental practitioners like Dr. Earle, a second-generation Meharry-trained dentist, stand in the gap for those who may not have access to healthcare. In her role as Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles, Earle says, “Sharing Smiles Day is an opportunity for our dentists and staff to put a smile back on the faces of children who need dental care but whose families cannot afford it.”

Kool Smile’s effort to see 500 or more children on May 20 doesn’t begin to deal with the enormity of the challenge, but it’s an effort that will make a big difference for the children who are treated. It’s also an opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of dental health that the role that organizations like Kool Smiles can play in closing the dental health gap.

Full disclosure: I’ve worked with Kool Smiles and their dental service organization, Benevis, on a program called Watch Yo’ Mouth, featuring Dr. Earle and healthy living author Debra Peek-Haynes. We plan to offer more of these programs in coming months. Meanwhile, though, I am excited about Sharing Smiles Day and about developing ways more low-income children can have access to dental care, so that there can be a healthy smile for every child in our nation.

Julianne Malveaux is an author, economist and founder of Economic Education. Follow Dr. Malveaux on Twitter @drjlastword.

Encouraging Entrepreneurship for Military Spouses

Each May we memorialize the men and women who sacrifice their lives defending our freedom. Often forgotten are the military spouses, who give their all to maintain households and raise children. On May 23, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the first proclamation declaring Military Spouse Day.

Now celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day, National Spouse Day is a day to recognize these heroes of the armed services— the husbands and wives of our servicemen and women. Military families make incredible sacrifices, which includes leaving their careers and career development opportunities due to frequent relocations in support of military commitments.

The unemployment rate among military spouses is 23 percent, and considering 85 percent say they want to or need to work, that is unacceptable. When the average household relies on two incomes, it should come as no surprise military families find themselves in similar need.

I am encouraged by employers who are increasingly, looking for ways to attract military spouses through such technology, as allowing them to work remotely. I would like to point out another option supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration— Entrepreneurship: military spouses running their own businesses can be empowering, liberating, and highly adaptable to a mobile lifestyle.

As SBA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, I am committed to helping more people have the tools and skills they need to be entrepreneurs. We, and our partners have online and community-based resources across the country offering access to capital, training, and business opportunities. We even have special outreach specifically geared to military spouses through programs on military installations.

These programs are available through your local SBA District Offices and our resource partners. Visit to earn more about local resources (, and more opportunities from SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (

As we look ahead, the SBA is working with the Department of Labor and Department of Defense to reduce barriers to business ownership and cross-state credentialing for military spouses. For example, if someone has a real estate license or a hairstylist’s license in one state, it should be easier to transition those credentials to another state.

Today, there are more than a million military spouses— 700,000 active duty and 400,000 reserve/guard. Each has a broad diversity of talents and experiences the SBA can help build into careers. We must help military spouses succeed and feel empowered, because they sacrifice for all of us. After all, each and every small business contributes to America’s economic prosperity, which further strengthens this great nation our military is working to defend.

Liberty’s Lite Holds Book Club Extravaganza

In observance of Older American’s Month, The Baltimore Times will periodically publish stories on seniors who are not only aging gracefully, but are doing extraordinary things. Every May, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation’s observance of Older American’s Month. The 2018 theme, “Engage at Every Age”, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

In celebration of “Older Americans Month,” the Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club held its annual Book Club Extravaganza on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. The event was held at the Liberty Senior Center located at 3525 Resource Drive in Randallstown. The Book Club Extravaganza featured dozens of authors and drew a capacity crowd.

Author and playwright Stella Adams was among the featured authors.

“The Book Club Extravaganza is a great place to network and get your book out,” said Adams, who penned “Heavy is the Rain.”

“You also learn a lot from the people who come. The Liberty’s Lite Book Club does a magnificent job introducing new authors. It was very successful last year, and is a success again this year.”

She added, “The event also provides an opportunity to meet a lot of people from around the country. It’s also enriching to hear what others are writing about and their experiences. We all do it for the love of writing and we all have a story to tell.”

Adams’ works also includes “Musing of a Poet Wannabe” and “Beneficial Life.”

“Another great part of this event is that it also shows that once you get to a certain age, life is not over,” said Adams. “You can reinvent yourself.”

The Liberty’s Lite Readers Book Club is comprised of a group of seniors’ age 60 and older. The group meets each month to discuss books they have read as a group. The Book Club Extravaganza included Book Signings, Book Swaps, two discussion panels, and Q&A sessions. The authors’ books were also sold during the annual event.

Judy Colbert was also among the authors. Colbert’s book is entitled, “100 Things To Do In Baltimore Before You Die.”

“This is my first year participating,” said Colbert. “The Book Club Extravaganza is wonderful. It allows me to reach a market that I otherwise might not have reached. I have done a lot of radio, television, and library appearances, but there is always a new market to reach. One lady told me she came just for my book.” Colbert’s book explores the “must-do” and “must-see” parts of Baltimore City for visitors and residents. She has been writing about Maryland, Baltimore, and the surrounding area for the past three decades.

Her other works include “It Happened in Maryland”; “Maryland and Delaware Off the Beaten Path”; “Insiders’ Guide to Baltimore”; and “Peaceful Places Washington, D.C”.

“There is a lot of bad noise about what is happening in Baltimore, but this book is my love letter,” she said. “There are a lot of great things going on in this city. I love spreading the word and being a part of it.”

Other authors included: Odessa Rose; Margaret Pagan; Dr. Stephanie Reid; Tawanda Prince; James Laws; Mito Bessalel, Cynthia Hudson-Laney; Wilma Brockington; and Joyce Smith.