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Sotterley Presents: People & Perspectives with Donald Barber, David Brown, and Janice Walthour

May 8 @ 7:00 pm

May 8, 2024 – Historic Sotterley’s next Sotterley Presents: People & Perspectives event will introduce a new book, The Barber Family: From Slavery, Through Segregation, and The Civil Rights Movement, by Donald Barber and David Brown. The Barber family are Sotterley Descendants, and the book tells their story against the backdrop of their challenges with post-Civil War economic decline and racism in St. Mary’s County, and the struggle for more self-reliant, prosperous, and fulfilling lives with dignity. The two authors and Janice Walthour will share their perspectives about the book. The Barber Family: From Slavery, Through Segregation, and The Civil Rights Movement will be available for purchase and signing during the event.

This is a FREE hybrid event, but registration is requested.

Register to attend in-person here

Register to attend virtually here

Donald Maxwell Barber, DOB 3/24/1957 was the sixth of 7 children born to Alice Ruth Somerville Barber and James Bernard Barber, who were employees of Mabel Ingalls at Sotterley. His parents instilled him with a strong work ethic and he worked in the gardens until he left Sotterley in the mid 1970’s. Donald’s parents impressed upon him the value of a college education, as well as their inability to afford college tuition. Donald was a strong student and was awarded a National Merit Scholarship that enabled him to attend St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science. He embarked on a 30 year career in Human Services and returned to Sotterley as a volunteer; serving many years as a Trustee. Donald is retired and living quietly in Hollywood with his wife Rosa.


Born in Boston MA, David Brown was a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. State Department for over thirty years serving mainly in Asia. After retiring, he spent almost twenty years as a researcher, administrator and adjunct professor in the China Studies program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAAIS) in Washington. For the past two decades, he has been a volunteer interpreter at Sotterley researching and writing numerous articles about Sotterley personalities, including the short history entitled Sotterley: Her People and Their Worlds.


Dr. Janice Walthour is a retired educator, political activist, poet, speaker, and life-long resident of St. Mary’s County. She has a long list of accomplishments, including serving as principal of George Washington Carver Elementary School for 15 years and being elected delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention. She is also involved in various organizations, such as the Unified Committee for Afro American Contributions (past President and current member) and the St. Mary’s County Branch NAACP. Dr. Walthour has received numerous awards for her professional and community services, and she is an active member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church. She is dedicated to advocating for equity and civil rights in her community.



May 8
7:00 pm
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Historic Sotterley


Historic Sotterley
44300 Sotterley Lane
Hollywood, MD 20636 United States
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