4-25-12: Remembering Gwynn Oak
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King led the March on Washington and delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. While the eyes of the nation were focused on the National Mall that day, here in Baltimore another important milestone in the civil rights movement was taking place.
Sharon Langley, not quite a year old, became the first African-American child to ride the merry-go-round at the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore County.
The private owners of the park had finally ended the 70-year-old policy of not allowing blacks to enter the park. The nearly 10-year effort to desegregate Gwynn Oak is the subject of a book by Amy Nathan, called Round and Round Together: Taking a Merry Go Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement.
Tom Hall talks with Ms. Nathan, and with one of the people who took part in the movement, Charles Mason, who was one of the leaders of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, which helped to organize the protests at Gwynn Oak.
Tomorrow, both Amy Nathan and Charles Mason, along with other Gwynn Oak protesters, will be at the Enoch Pratt Central Library for a special program on the end of segregation. It’s from 6:30 to 8:00.
Listen to the segment here: