Lawrence Burney 

Lawrence Burney is interested in exploring the history of Baltimore’s arts and culture scene through the Black lens.


Lawrence Burney (b. 1990) is a writer, journalist and the founder of True Laurels, a media platform dedicated to highlighting Baltimore and the DMV area’s most captivating music and culture. Burney’s storytelling is concerned with finding — and sharing — the intersections of history, culture, and contemporary art in Black communities in his home region, as well as various pockets within the African diaspora in an attempt to make more sense of the world he was born into. His work has been featured in publications such as The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and VICE.

“As my practice has started to incorporate film and an obsession with archival material from Black Baltimore’s past, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario than to have a residency at institutions like The Parkway and The Enoch Pratt. I’m really looking forward to sharpening my craft and burying myself in the kind of research that, when shared, can inspire and inform others who are also yearning to learn more.”

Office Hours
Tues, Thurs & Fri 10am-3pm (By Appt Only)
Weds 10am-3pm (In Library)
Enoch Pratt Central Library 

Enoch Pratt’s Updated COVID Policy

Job and Career Center Studio M803 , first floor Business Science and Technology Mezzanine

Phone: 443-984-5813





Humans—like many other species on our planet—are in a constant state of migration. It’s how we evolve over time, by sharing the culture and knowledge we have with new people in order to advance. Everyone’s family has a migration story. Whether it be as recent as this decade or hundreds of years ago, we all have a starting point. The people of Baltimore are no different. Every Wednesday, Lawrence Burney would like to invite Baltimore residents to the Enoch Pratt’s Central branch to speak about how they or their families from generation’s past ended up in the Baltimore area. Sessions for days other than Wednesdays can also be scheduled via email or phone.

Wednesdays from February – May
11 am-3 pm
Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch
Contact Lawrence via email or phone to make an appointment during office hours or arrange for a virtual meeting at other times.

When Time Stops

Storytelling Project
Once a month over the spring, Lawrence Burney will visit different Enoch Pratt branches around the city to share archival material he’s found that is relevant to those specific neighborhoods. This show and tell program will aim to educate people of all ages on things from their community that they may not have been previously aware of and also engage community elders who may have firsthand knowledge of some of these findings in conversation. Materials may include newspaper clips, photos, videos, old new reels, and more; this will be a multimedia experience.
Sign up to make an appointment during office hours and/or submit through the form below.
Sign Up Form:

March 17 at 3pm – Enoch Pratt Free Library – Central Branch (400 Cathedral Street)
April 14 at 3 pm – Edmondson Village Branch
May 19 at 3 pm – Enoch Pratt Free Library – Herring Run Branch (3801 Erdman Avenue)

Laurels Lessons

Lawrence Burney will host a conversation series that gets to the root of key musical and cultural moments, eras, and events throughout history in the Baltimore area. The conversations will include the voices of scholars/experts as well as former participants on subjects such as Pennsylvania Avenue’s legacy of jazz, local gospel powerhouses, and literature from Baltimore’s liberation movements in the early 20th century. The talks will be held at SNF Parkway Theater.
March 3, 2022 at 7pm: Celebrating the Royal Theater (Upcoming dates coming soon)

Photo Credit I Henry Phillips Sr, Courtesy of Webster Phillips, III

Photo Credit I Henry Phillips Sr, Courtesy of Webster Phillips, III