African American History Month: Rossville Rural Development Homesteads

This c. 1937 Lenore Thomas Straus photograph is of African American laborers at what is now the Community Center. Her "Promote the General Welfare" bas relief is in the background. Although African Americans helped build Greenbelt, it was not open to them due to segregation.

Greenbelt's original 1936 plan included the Rossville Rural Development subsistence homesteads, a third of the project. Intended for African Americans, due to objections from local communities and then Maryland State Senator Lansdale Sasscer, it was not built.

Originally posted February 16, 2018. To see the original thread on Twitter, please click here. Follow us at @greenbeltmuseum.


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