Inheritance Baltimore: Humanities and Arts Education for Black Liberation is a joint programming and research effort to preserve Black archival resources, curate Black arts and public heritage, and expand local infrastructure for freedom education.

Inheritance Baltimore also provides support for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, and faculty committed to documenting the history of institutional racism in the formation of academic disciplines at and outward from Johns Hopkins University. The coordinating team consists of Nathan Connolly and Stuart Schrader of the Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship, Kali-Ahset Amen and Lawrence Jackson of the Billie Holiday Project for Liberation Arts, and Joseph Plaster and Gabrielle Dean of Sheridan Libraries. Inheritance Baltimore is funded by a Just Futures grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


What IB is:

  • Inheritance Baltimore is a reparations program for Humanities education and Arts-based public engagement in black Baltimore.

What we believe:

  • Historical recovery and the humanities have a central role to play in the continued revitalization of Baltimore.  

We are committed to:

  • Redirecting the social and institutional capital that Johns Hopkins University has accumulated for more than a century in its defense of white intellectual and material interests in Baltimore toward holistic investment in black expressions of history and the arts.
  • Documenting processes of white supremacy and interlocking oppression that afflict black communities and the creation and preservation of black knowledge.

Our framework for reparative racial justice:

  • We regard the history, culture, arts and expertise of black Baltimore as our treasured inheritance, and put forth the arts and archival rescue as mechanisms for ameliorating deep historical wrongs. 
  • We view ethical community engagement, antiracist pedagogy and freedom education as pillars in the transformation of university culture and academic professionalization. 
  • We center black expertise and ways of knowing in our programming, partnerships and process.

How we work:

  • We research the racist making of our academic disciplines, and grapple with that history through public convenings. 
  • We preserve black Baltimore‚Äôs creative and humanistic traditions through archiving partnerships with historic black churches, cultural centers and culture-makers, and colleges and universities.
  • We create fair-wage opportunities for professional advancement for black archivists, artists and curators as a means of addressing historic injustices in these fields.

We prepare undergraduates, doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows at Hopkins and area Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for reparative work in careers geared toward social justice, civic engagement, and the curation of historical and cultural resources within and on behalf of marginalized communities.