Maceo Hallmon’s great-grandfather was a man of firsts. A prominent Frederick activist in the early 1900s, Edward Mitchell Johnson started the region’s first African-American newspaper and all-black Boy Scout troop. He was also the lead plaintiff in a 1913 voters rights case, which led a Frederick court to rule the “Grandfather Clause” was unconstitutional — two years before the U.S. Supreme Court did.
Despite his many accomplishments, Johnson’s story was largely forgotten by his family and the Frederick community until Hallmon began researching his great-grandfather for a college project.
On this week’s edition of Frederick Uncut, Hallmon sat down with News-Post reporters Kate Masters and Nancy Lavin to discuss Johnson’s legacy and how his family rediscovered his importance to Frederick. He also told the exciting story of finally unearthing an original copy of his great-grandfather’s newspaper — more than 100 years after the first few issues were published.