Black History Month: Family celebrates lineage in Crisfield

CRISFIELD Md. – A family in Crisfield is celebrating their rich history and encouraging others to learn more about where they come from as well.

Elmer Barkley and his wife, Josephine Barkley, say there are still many parts of Black History that are little known, such as the fact that Elmer Barkley’s uncle was the first African-American physician in Crisfield.

His uncle and father worked together also as farmers in Crisfield. At that time between 1912 and the 1940’s his uncle, Winter J. Barkley, could not practice at the hospital because of segregation, but in spite of that he still had a large clientele.

Barkley says as a child growing up he took for granted that his uncle was making history, however as he grew up he learned how influential he was.

“There are so many contributions from African-Americans, from women, that are really unknown and People start saying ‘I didn’t know this, I didn’t know that’ and there are so many contributions that people aren’t aware of,” said Barkley.

He went on to say “It’s not just about the lynchings, and it’s not always about being discriminated against, it’s about the contributions that have been made to American society.”

Mr. Barkley says he wants to see Black History celebrated every day and he hopes the younger population tries to sit down with elders in their family to learn as much as they can about their lineage.

To follow his own advice, Barkley and his family are currently collecting even more information about his family’s lineage and hopes to learn more.

Categories: Black History Month, Local News, Maryland