"Brown" in Baltimore

School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism

Author: Howell S. Baum

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801457106

Category: Education

Page: N.A

View: 1531

In the first book to present the history of Baltimore school desegregation, Howell S. Baum shows how good intentions got stuck on what Gunnar Myrdal called the "American Dilemma." Immediately after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the city's liberal school board voted to desegregate and adopted a free choice policy that made integration voluntary. Baltimore's school desegregation proceeded peacefully, without the resistance or violence that occurred elsewhere. However, few whites chose to attend school with blacks, and after a few years of modest desegregation, schools resegregated and became increasingly segregated. The school board never changed its policy. Black leaders had urged the board to adopt free choice and, despite the limited desegregation, continued to support the policy and never sued the board to do anything else. Baum finds that American liberalism is the key to explaining how this happened. Myrdal observed that many whites believed in equality in the abstract but considered blacks inferior and treated them unequally. School officials were classical liberals who saw the world in terms of individuals, not races. They adopted a desegregation policy that explicitly ignored students' race and asserted that all students were equal in freedom to choose schools, while their policy let whites who disliked blacks avoid integration. School officials' liberal thinking hindered them from understanding or talking about the city's history of racial segregation, continuing barriers to desegregation, and realistic change strategies. From the classroom to city hall, Baum examines how Baltimore's distinct identity as a border city between North and South shaped local conversations about the national conflict over race and equality. The city's history of wrestling with the legacy of Brown reveals Americans' preferred way of dealing with racial issues: not talking about race. This avoidance, Baum concludes, allows segregation to continue.

"Brown" in Baltimore

School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism

Author: Howell S. Baum

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801476526

Category: Education

Page: 274

View: 7225

In the first book to present the history of Baltimore school desegregation, Howell S. Baum shows how good intentions got stuck on what Gunnar Myrdal called the "American Dilemma." Immediately after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the city's liberal school board voted to desegregate and adopted a free choice policy that made integration voluntary. Baltimore's school desegregation proceeded peacefully, without the resistance or violence that occurred elsewhere. However, few whites chose to attend school with blacks, and after a few years of modest desegregation, schools resegregated and became increasingly segregated. The school board never changed its policy. Black leaders had urged the board to adopt free choice and, despite the limited desegregation, continued to support the policy and never sued the board to do anything else. Baum finds that American liberalism is the key to explaining how this happened. Myrdal observed that many whites believed in equality in the abstract but considered blacks inferior and treated them unequally. School officials were classical liberals who saw the world in terms of individuals, not races. They adopted a desegregation policy that explicitly ignored students' race and asserted that all students were equal in freedom to choose schools, while their policy let whites who disliked blacks avoid integration. School officials' liberal thinking hindered them from understanding or talking about the city's history of racial segregation, continuing barriers to desegregation, and realistic change strategies. From the classroom to city hall, Baum examines how Baltimore's distinct identity as a border city between North and South shaped local conversations about the national conflict over race and equality. The city's history of wrestling with the legacy of Brown reveals Americans' preferred way of dealing with racial issues: not talking about race. This avoidance, Baum concludes, allows segregation to continue.

Blockbusting in Baltimore

The Edmondson Village Story

Author: W. Edward Orser

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813148316

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 5660

This innovative study of racial upheaval and urban transformation in Baltimore, Maryland investigates the impact of "blockbusting" -- a practice in which real estate agents would sell a house on an all-white block to an African American family with the aim of igniting a panic among the other residents. These homeowners would often sell at a loss to move away, and the real estate agents would promote the properties at a drastic markup to African American buyers. In this groundbreaking book, W. Edward Orser examines Edmondson Village, a west Baltimore rowhouse community where an especially acute instance of blockbusting triggered white flight and racial change on a dramatic scale. Between 1955 and 1965, nearly twenty thousand white residents, who saw their secure world changing drastically, were replaced by blacks in search of the American dream. By buying low and selling high, playing on the fears of whites and the needs of African Americans, blockbusters set off a series of events that Orser calls "a collective trauma whose significance for recent American social and cultural history is still insufficiently appreciated and understood." Blockbusting in Baltimore describes a widely experienced but little analyzed phenomenon of recent social history. Orser makes an important contribution to community and urban studies, race relations, and records of the African American experience.

Black Baltimore

A New Theory of Community

Author: Harold Mcdougall

Publisher: Temple University Press

ISBN: 1566391938

Category: History

Page: 334

View: 8791

Through extensive neighborhood interviews and a compelling assessment of the problems of unraveling communities in urban America, Harold McDougall reveals how, in sections of Baltimore, a "New Community" is developing. Relying more on vernacular culture, personal networking, and mutual support than on private wealth or public subsidy, the communities of black Baltimore provide an example of self-help and civic action that could and should be occurring in other inner-city areas. In this political history of Old West Baltimore, McDougall describes how "base communities"—small peer groups that share similar views, circumstances, and objectives—have helped neighborhoods respond to the failure of both government and the market to create conditions for a decent quality of life for all. Arguing for the primacy of church leadership within the black community, the author describes how these small, flexible groups are creating the foundation of what he calls a New Community, where community-spirited organizers, clergy, public interest advocates, business people, and government workers interact and build relationships through which Baltimore's urban agenda is being developed.

Black social capital

the politics of school reform in Baltimore, 1986-1998

Author: Marion Orr

Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas

ISBN: N.A

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 241

View: 1348

Deindustrialization, white flight, and inner city poverty have spelled trouble for Baltimore schools. Marion Orr now examines why school reform has been difficult to achieve there, revealing the struggles of civic leaders and the limitations placed on Baltimore's African-American community as each has tried to rescue a failing school system.Examining the interplay between government and society, Orr presents the first systematic analysis of social capital both within the African-American community ("black social capital") and outside it where social capital crosses racial lines. Orr shows that while black social capital may have created solidarity against white domination in Baltimore, it hampered African-American leaders' capacity to enlist the cooperation from white corporate elites and suburban residents needed for school reform.Orr examines social capital at the neighborhood level, in elite-level interactions, and in intergovernmental relations to argue that black social capital doesn'tnecessarily translate into the kind of intergroup coalition needed to bring about school reform. He also includes an extensive historical survey of the black community, showing how distrust engendered by past black experiences has hampered the formation of significant intergroup social capital.The book features case studies of school reform activity, including the first analysis of the politics surrounding Baltimore's decision to hire a private, for profit firm to operate nine of its public schools. These cases illuminate the paradoxical aspects of black social capital in citywide school reform while offering critical perspectives on current debates about privatization, site-basedmanagement, and other reform alternatives.Orr's book challenges those who argue that social capital alone can solve fundamentally political problems by purely social means and questions the efficacy of either privatization or black

A New Deal for All?

Race and Class Struggles in Depression-Era Baltimore

Author: Andor Skotnes

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822353598

Category: History

Page: 375

View: 1437

In A New Deal for All? Andor Skotnes examines the interrelationships between the Black freedom movement and the workers' movement in Baltimore and Maryland during the Great Depression and the early years of the Second World War. Adding to the growing body of scholarship on the long civil rights struggle, he argues that such "border state" movements helped resuscitate and transform the national freedom and labor struggles. In the wake of the Great Crash of 1929, the freedom and workers' movements had to rebuild themselves, often in new forms. In the early 1930s, deepening commitments to antiracism led Communists and Socialists in Baltimore to launch racially integrated initiatives for workers' rights, the unemployed, and social justice. An organization of radicalized African American youth, the City-Wide Young People's Forum, emerged in the Black community and became involved in mass educational, anti-lynching, and Buy Where You Can Work campaigns, often in multiracial alliances with other progressives. During the later 1930s, the movements of Baltimore merged into new and renewed national organizations, especially the CIO and the NAACP, and built mass regional struggles. While this collaboration declined after the war, Skotnes shows that the earlier cooperative efforts greatly shaped national freedom campaigns to come—including the civil rights movement.

Baltimore '68

Riots and Rebirth in an American City

Author: Jessica Elfenbein,Thomas Hollowak,Elizabeth Nix

Publisher: Temple University Press

ISBN: 1439906629

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 3199

In 1968, Baltimore was home to a variety of ethnic, religious, and racial communities that, like those in other American cities, were confronting a quickly declining industrial base. In April of that year, disturbances broke the urban landscape along lines of race and class. This book offers chapters on events leading up to the turmoil, the riots, and the aftermath as well as four rigorously edited and annotated oral histories of members of the Baltimore community. The combination of new scholarship and first-person accounts provides a comprehensive case study of this period of civil unrest four decades later. This engaging, broad-based public history lays bare the diverse experiences of 1968 and their effects, emphasizing the role of specific human actions. By reflecting on the stories and analysis presented in this anthology, readers may feel empowered to pursue informed, responsible civic action of their own. Baltimore '68 is the book component of a larger public history project, "Baltimore '68 Riots: Riots and Rebirth." The project's companion website (http://archives.ubalt.edu/bsr/index.html ) offers many more oral histories plus photos, art, and links to archival sources. The book and the website together make up an invaluable teaching resource on cities, social unrest, and racial politics in the 1960s. The project was the corecipient of the 2009 Outstanding Public History Project Award from the National Council on Public History.

Lost Baltimore

Author: Gregory J. Alexander,Paul Kelsey Williams

Publisher: Pavilion Books, Limited

ISBN: 9781909108431

Category: Architecture

Page: 142

View: 7599

Profiles places in Baltimore that have been destroyed, altered, or demolished during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with photographs of the original structures, background information, and stories about memorable individuals.

A Hope in the Unseen

An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

Author: Ron Suskind

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0307763080

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 4826

It is 1993, and Cedric Jennings is a bright and ferociously determined honor student at Ballou, a high school in one of Washington D.C.’s most dangerous neighborhoods, where the dropout rate is well into double digits and just 80 students out of more than 1,350 boast an average of B or better. At Ballou, Cedric has almost no friends. He eats lunch in a classroom most days, plowing through the extra work he has asked for, knowing that he’s really competing with kids from other, harder schools. Cedric Jennings’s driving ambition–which is fully supported by his forceful mother–is to attend a top-flight college. In September 1995, after years of near superhuman dedication, he realizes that ambition when he begins as a freshman at Brown University. In this updated edition, A Hope in the Unseen chronicles Cedric’s odyssey during his last two years of high school, follows him through his difficult first year at Brown, and now tells the story of his subsequent successes in college and the world of work. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Baltimore

A Political History

Author: Matthew A. Crenson

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421422077

Category: History

Page: 632

View: 6615

Charm City or Mobtown? People from Baltimore glory in its eccentric charm, small-town character, and North-cum-South culture. But for much of the nineteenth century, violence and disorder plagued the city. More recently, the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody has prompted Baltimoreans—and the entire nation—to focus critically on the rich and tangled narrative of black–white relations in Baltimore, where slavery once existed alongside the largest community of free blacks in the United States. Matthew A. Crenson, a distinguished political scientist and Baltimore native, examines the role of politics and race throughout Baltimore’s history. From its founding in 1729 up through the recent past, Crenson follows Baltimore’s political evolution from an empty expanse of marsh and hills to a complicated city with distinct ways of doing business. Revealing how residents at large engage (and disengage) with one another across an expansive agenda of issues and conflicts, Crenson shows how politics helped form this complex city’s personality. Crenson provocatively argues that Baltimore’s many quirks are likely symptoms of urban underdevelopment. The city’s longtime domination by the general assembly—and the corresponding weakness of its municipal authority—forced residents to adopt the private and extra-governmental institutions that shaped early Baltimore. On the one hand, Baltimore was resolutely parochial, split by curious political quarrels over issues as minor as loose pigs. On the other, it was keenly attuned to national politics: during the Revolution, for instance, Baltimoreans were known for their comparative radicalism. Crenson describes how, as Baltimore and the nation grew, whites competed with blacks, slave and free, for menial and low-skill work. He also explores how the urban elite thrived by avoiding, wherever possible, questions of slavery vs. freedom—just as, long after the Civil War and emancipation, wealthier Baltimoreans preferred to sidestep racial controversy. Peering into the city’s 300-odd neighborhoods, this fascinating account holds up a mirror to Baltimore, asking whites in particular to re-examine the past and accept due responsibility for future racial progress.

Baltimore

A Political History

Author: Matthew A. Crenson

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421422077

Category: History

Page: 632

View: 1756

Charm City or Mobtown? People from Baltimore glory in its eccentric charm, small-town character, and North-cum-South culture. But for much of the nineteenth century, violence and disorder plagued the city. More recently, the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in police custody has prompted Baltimoreans—and the entire nation—to focus critically on the rich and tangled narrative of black–white relations in Baltimore, where slavery once existed alongside the largest community of free blacks in the United States. Matthew A. Crenson, a distinguished political scientist and Baltimore native, examines the role of politics and race throughout Baltimore’s history. From its founding in 1729 up through the recent past, Crenson follows Baltimore’s political evolution from an empty expanse of marsh and hills to a complicated city with distinct ways of doing business. Revealing how residents at large engage (and disengage) with one another across an expansive agenda of issues and conflicts, Crenson shows how politics helped form this complex city’s personality. Crenson provocatively argues that Baltimore’s many quirks are likely symptoms of urban underdevelopment. The city’s longtime domination by the general assembly—and the corresponding weakness of its municipal authority—forced residents to adopt the private and extra-governmental institutions that shaped early Baltimore. On the one hand, Baltimore was resolutely parochial, split by curious political quarrels over issues as minor as loose pigs. On the other, it was keenly attuned to national politics: during the Revolution, for instance, Baltimoreans were known for their comparative radicalism. Crenson describes how, as Baltimore and the nation grew, whites competed with blacks, slave and free, for menial and low-skill work. He also explores how the urban elite thrived by avoiding, wherever possible, questions of slavery vs. freedom—just as, long after the Civil War and emancipation, wealthier Baltimoreans preferred to sidestep racial controversy. Peering into the city’s 300-odd neighborhoods, this fascinating account holds up a mirror to Baltimore, asking whites in particular to re-examine the past and accept due responsibility for future racial progress.

Borders of Equality

The NAACP and the Baltimore Civil Rights Struggle, 1914-1970

Author: Lee Sartain

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 1617037524

Category: Social Science

Page: 235

View: 9476

As a border city Baltimore made an ideal arena to push for change during the civil rights movement. It was a city in which all forms of segregation and racism appeared vulnerable to attack by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's methods. If successful in Baltimore, the rest of the nation might follow with progressive and integrationist reforms. The Baltimore branch of the NAACP was one of the first chapters in the nation and was the largest branch in the nation by 1946. The branch undertook various forms of civil rights activity from 1914 through the 1940s that later were mainstays of the 1960s movement. Nonviolent protest, youth activism, economic boycotts, marches on state capitols, campaigns for voter registration, and pursuit of anti-lynching cases all had test runs. Remarkably, Baltimore's NAACP had the same branch president for thirty-five years starting in 1935, a woman, Lillie M. Jackson. Her work highlights gender issues and the social and political transitions among the changing civil rights groups. In Borders of Equality, Lee Sartain evaluates her leadership amid challenges from radicalized youth groups and the Black Power Movement. Baltimore was an urban industrial center that shared many characteristics with the North, and African Americans could vote there. The city absorbed a large number of black economic migrants from the South, and it exhibited racial patterns that made it more familiar to Southerners. It was one of the first places to begin desegregating its schools in September 1954 after the Brown decision, and one of the first to indicate to the nation that race was not simply a problem for the Deep South. Baltimore's history and geography make it a perfect case study to examine the NAACP and various phases of the civil rights struggle in the twentieth century

Flickering Treasures

Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters

Author: Amy Davis

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421422190

Category: Architecture

Page: 320

View: 790

Baltimore has been home to hundreds of theaters since the first moving pictures flickered across muslin sheets. These monuments to popular culture, adorned with grandiose architectural flourishes, seemed an everlasting part of Baltimore's landscape. By 1950, when the city's population peaked, Baltimore's movie fans could choose from among 119 theaters. But by 2016, the number of cinemas had dwindled to only three. Today, many of the city's theaters are boarded up, even burned out, while others hang on with varying degrees of dignity as churches or stores. In Flickering Treasures, Amy Davis, an award-winning photojournalist for the Baltimore Sun, pairs vintage black-and-white images of opulent downtown movie palaces and modest neighborhood theaters with her own contemporary full-color photographs, inviting us to imagine Charm City's past as we confront today's neglected urban landscape. Punctuated by engaging stories and interviews with local moviegoers, theater owners, ushers, and cashiers, plus commentary from celebrated Baltimore filmmakers Barry Levinson and John Waters, the book brings each theater and decade vividly to life. From Electric Park, the Century, and the Hippodrome to the Royal, the Parkway, the Senator, and scores of other beloved venues, the book delves into Baltimore's history, including its troubling legacy of racial segregation. The descriptions of the technological and cultural changes that have shaped both American cities and the business of movie exhibition will trigger affectionate memories for many readers. A map and timeline reveal the one-time presence of movie houses in every corner of the city, and fact boxes include the years of operation, address, architect, and seating capacity for each of the 72 theaters profiled, along with a brief description of each theater's distinct character. Highlighting the emotional resonance of film and the loyalty of Baltimoreans to their neighborhoods, Flickering Treasures is a profound story of change, loss, and rebirth.

The Other Wes Moore

One Name, Two Fates

Author: Wes Moore

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 9781588369697

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 5679

BONUS: This edition contains a new afterword and a The Other Wes Moore discussion guide. The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his. Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

Between the World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 0679645985

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 176

View: 6474

Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer) #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • People • Entertainment Weekly • Vogue • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • New York • Newsday • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward. Praise for Between the World and Me “Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America.”—The Boston Globe “Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders.”—The Washington Post “Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time.”—Vogue “A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening.”—The New Yorker “Titanic and timely . . . essential reading.”—Entertainment Weekly

Linking Health and Education for African American Students’ Success

Author: Nadine M. Finigan-Carr

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1498767079

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 139

View: 855

The linkages between a student’s health and a student’s ability to learn have been well established. Children who are sick stay home; and, children at home cannot learn if they are not in school leading to increased dropout rates among other educational outcomes. However, an understanding of this concept is just the beginning of understanding how education and public health are inextricably linked. ? In light of this, Linking Health and Education for African American Students’ Success examines health disparities and education inequities simultaneously and moves beyond a basic understanding of health and education in K-12 school programs. The structural inequalities which lead to reduced academic attainment mirror the social determinants of health. Education is one of the most powerful determinants of health, and disparities in educational achievement as a result of structural inequalities closely track disparities in health. These disparities lead to both sub-standard healthcare and reduced academic attainment among children from underserved minorities in the United States, especially African Americans. ? This book discusses how this may result in children with poorer mental health outcomes; higher school dropout rates; increased risks of arrests and incarceration; higher rates of chronic diseases and mortality; and overall diminished opportunities for success, while providing suggestions as to how to address these issues. This results in an insightful read for researchers, academics and practitioners in the fields of healthcare and education.

Nine Years Under

Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home

Author: Sheri Booker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1592407625

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 261

View: 4190

A dazzling and darkly comic memoir about coming of age in a black funeral home in Baltimore Sheri Booker was only fifteen when she started working at Wylie Funeral Home in West Baltimore. She had no idea her summer job would become nine years of immersion into a hidden world. Reeling from the death of her beloved great aunt, Sheri found comfort in the funeral home and soon had the run of the place. With AIDS and gang violence threatening to wipe out a generation of black men, Wylie was never short on business. As families came together to bury one of their own, Booker was privy to their most intimate moments of grief and despair. But along with the sadness, Booker encountered moments of dark humor: brawls between mistresses and widows, and car crashes at McDonald's with dead bodies in tow. While she never got over her terror of the embalming room, Booker learned to expect the unexpected and to never, ever cry. Nine Years Under offers readers an unbelievable glimpse into an industry in the backdrop of all our lives.

The Shift

One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives

Author: Theresa Brown

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 1616206020

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 510

Practicing nurse and "New York Times" columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience a day in the life of a nurse working on a hospital s busy cancer ward. In the span of twelve hours, patients' lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. Brown gives an unprecedented view into individual struggles as well as larger truths about medicine in this country, hope, healing, and humanity. "

An American Dilemma

The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy

Author: Gunnar Myrdal,Richard Mauritz Edvard Sterner,Arnold Marshall Rose

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 1483

View: 7391

Investigates the political, social, and economic conditions of Negroes prior to 1942, contrasting democratic principles with race relations in America

The Beast Side

Living and Dying While Black in America

Author: D. Watkins

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1510716408

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 2123

A New York Times Best Seller! To many, the past 8 years under President Obama were meant to usher in a new post-racial American political era, dissolving the divisions of the past. However, when seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then Ferguson, Missouri, happened; and then South Carolina hit the headlines; and then Baltimore blew up, it was hard to find any evidence of a new post-racial order. Suddenly the entire country seemed to be awakened to a stark fact: African American men are in danger in America. This has only become clearer as groups like Black Lives Matter continue to draw attention to this reality daily not only online but also in the streets of our nation’s embattled cities. Now one of our country’s quintessential urban war zones is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the “beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland,” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets as the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of America. In this new paperback edition, the author has also added new material responding to the rising tide of racial resentment and hate embodied by political figures like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the impact this has had on issues of race in America. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of the chaos of our current political moment.