HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — One of the most important things a teacher can do for her students is to make them feel comfortable, so a retired Allegany College of Maryland professor decided to dedicate eight years of her life to investigating Washington County’s African American history.

Five books later, Author Lynn Bowman said she saw deficiencies in Western Maryland’s diversity education that might make some students feel out of place, so she began researching the area’s African American history. Released in October, Bowman’s book “Ten weeks on Jonathan Street, The Legacy of 19th Century African American Hagerstown, Maryland” rewrites the history of Washington County and reveals hidden stories about the historic Jonathan Street Community.

“When we have a feeling that we belong in a place we do better in that place so I saw it as a student success effort,” said Bowman.

Bowman also serves as a board member on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.