Teacher at Charles Carroll of Carrollton

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


When Gertrude moved to Baltimore in 1949, the city was home to more black residents than any other northeastern urban center. It retained a decidedly Southern social structure and climate. While a substantial black middle class lived and consolidated their resources in neighborhoods adjoining the black cultural mecca of Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore, the majority were restricted to three severely crowded ghetto areas, with one of the worst tuberculosis rates in the nation. They were permitted to hold only certain jobs—principally the most menial, the dirtiest, the most dangerous, and the lowest paying. Most entertainment facilities barred them. The few that didn’t relegated them to balconies. Only the most limited and shabby playgrounds and sports facilities were open to them. Most restaurants were out of bounds as were all hotels for black out of town visitors. African American children were assigned to dilapidated, segregated schools, and those who persevered and sought a college education were forced to enroll in a historically black college or look out of state, since higher education institutions in Maryland were “white only.”1


School System School Board Baltimore City School Desegregation White Teacher 
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Copyright information

© Gertrude S. Williams and Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrude S. Williams
  • Jo Ann Ooiman Robinson

There are no affiliations available

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