Black/African-American History Month 2021

Black/African-American History Month is February 1 - February 28.

Black/African-American History Month LibGuide: Linked in this guide hosted by FCPS is essential information about the study and celebration of Black/African-American History Month.

Dr. Ulysses Grant BourneDr. Ulysses Grant Bourne had a long medical career and advocated for medical treatment, education, and civil rights for Black/African-Americans. Although Dr. Bourne treated all races in his private practice, he was denied access to practice medicine at the Frederick City Hospital (now Frederick Health Hospital). He and a colleague founded the Union Hospital which was the only hospital to serve Black/African-American patients from 1919-1928. Dr. Bourne’s love of medicine lived on in his children: Dr. Ulysses G. Bourne, Jr., the first Black/African-American doctor permitted to practice at Frederick Memorial Hospital, daughter Grace Bourne, a nurse and daughter Dr. Blanche Bourne-Tyree, one of the first female Black/African-American doctors in Maryland. A portrait honoring Dr. Bourne is currently on display at Frederick Health Hospital.

Dr. Bourne also founded the Maryland Negro Medical Society and co-founded the Frederick County Branch of the NAACP in 1931. His civil rights aspirations didn’t end there. Dr. Bourne served the sixth Republican district as the regional vice president and was the first Black/African-American man from western Maryland to pursue a seat in the House of Delegates.

Esther E. GrinageEsther E. Grinage made significant contributions to the Frederick community in the area of education. She was one of the first Black/African-American teachers in Frederick County and taught for 25 years. In 1937, Frederick County Public Schools did not offer kindergarten instruction, and due to segregation, private kindergarten did not accept Black/African-American children. Members of the community rallied to establish the Esther E. Grinage Kindergarten School. The school opened in her home located in the 100 block of West All Saints St. It provided a place to educate four and five-year-olds in the local Black/African-American community. The school became so successful that it had to be moved to the Lincoln Apartments Community Room.

In March of 1947, Esther Grinage passed away, however, her legacy lives on. The Esther E. Grinage Scholarship fund has helped many students pursue careers in education. The Pythian Castle is where the Esther E. Grinage Kindergarten School was founded. It was built in 1891 and is listed as an African American Heritage Site in the City of Frederick All Saints Street Neighborhood.

William O. Lee, Jr.William O. Lee, Jr. graduated from Lincoln High School Class of 1945 in Frederick, MD. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education from Howard University and continued post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Western Maryland College. Mr. Lee began his teaching career at Frederick County Public Schools in 1954 and taught physical education at Lincoln High and West Frederick Junior High. He retired in 1983 as principal of West Frederick Junior High, later renamed West Frederick Middle School.

After retirement, Mr. Lee served as an alderman for the City of Frederick from 1986-1994. He remained active in the community by serving as president of the Board of Election Supervisors for Frederick County, president of the Frederick County Public Libraries Board of Trustees, chairman of the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage organization, and board member for the YMCA. Mr. Lee also organized several basketball and baseball leagues and was assistant coach to the Frederick Falcons football team. The William O. Lee Memorial bridge over Carroll Creek was named in his honor.