One Cool Thing: A Tribe Rediscovers Its Roots In Baltimore

Photo: Lumbee Tribe

Baltimore may be famous for Edgar Allan Poe and The Star-Spangled Banner, but it is also home to many members of the Lumbee Tribe, which had originated in North Carolina and is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River. According to Smithsonian Magazine, in the 1960s, there were so many Native Americans living there that many Lumbee affectionately referred to it as “The Reservation.”  But then Baltimore underwent a massive redevelopment and most residents moved to the suburbs, including many Lumbee. Tribal member Ashley Minner, who is now creating a history of the Lumbee community in Baltimore explains, “There are all kinds of ways society makes you feel like you don’t belong. I think when you realize that your history is much deeper than what you knew, it gives you a different sense of belonging…We are part of a long, rich history. We helped build this city. We helped develop the character it has now. It’s ours too.”

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