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September is International Underground Railroad Month. Reflect on its Maryland history at these 5 sites

Governor Larry Hogan’s recent designation of September as International Underground Railroad Month acknowledges what many historians, preservationists, educators and Black communities already knew: that the liberation of enslaved African Americans plays a crucial role in Maryland and Baltimore’s history.

According to the National Parks Service’s (NPS) most recent figures, Maryland boasts 83 sites—tied with Ohio for the most of any state—along the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Free State’s many federally and state-recognized Underground Railroad sites extend as far west as Frederick and Allegany Counties, and as far east as the Eastern Shore.

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No abridged list of sites to visit can capture the complexity of this border state’s deep relationship with the legacy of enslavement and Black resilience. That said, if you don’t have the time to visit every location in Maryland, at least consider these five monuments and experiences:

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