African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society

Telling Our Story

In May 1913, Edward Mitchell Johnson – a trustee of Asbury United Methodist Church on All Saints Street, was the main plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against ‘the grandfather clause,’ which denied African Americans the right to vote unless their grandfather had voted prior to 1869. This case helped lay the groundwork for the decades of work ahead to secure African Americans’ full rights as citizens granted under the 14th amendment following the Civil War.

Edward Mitchell Johnson was a community leader and activist in many ways – founding the first Black-owned newspaper in Western Maryland, which he printed from a press in his kitchen.

His story is inspiring – as are hundreds of others collected, preserved, and shared by the African American Resources Cultural Heritage (AARCH) Society.

“Until the story of the hunt is told by the lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

Empowering Understanding

AARCH Society is proud to serve community members and visitors of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are interested in learning about and sharing their stories about African American history and heritage in Frederick County. 

Through our programs and services, AARCH Society touches: 

  • People of all backgrounds who are interested in the rich dimensions of the African American experience
  • Teachers and educators in Frederick County and beyond
  • Academics, scholars, and researchers
  • Students from kindergarten through college
  • Community partners in local business, historical, cultural, social, and religious organizations 
  • Tourists and visitors to Frederick County

How to Engage
With Us

Want to learn more about AARCH Society’s Mission? We are a welcoming, diverse non-profit organization with a drive to make a difference here in Frederick County, Maryland.

You have many options for getting involved with our dynamic, dedicated volunteers! Visit our Programs & Events page to learn more and then fill out our Contact Us form.