The Reginald F. Lewis museum is inviting the public to share their stories “about, before, and beyond” the Baltimore unrest that resulted from the death of Freddie Gray last April. Gray died in police custody and Baltimore erupted in riots following his funeral. Six officers have been charged in his death and are awaiting trial.
The museum is hosting a series of events ranging from a panel discussion to a spoken word performance from East Baltimore poet, Kondwani Fidel.
Helen Yuen, director of marketing at the Reginald F. Lewis, said the panel on April 23, called “All Baltimore Voices: Stories About & Beyond the Unrest,” will examine the “historical contextualization of Baltimore as a racially segregated city; what led to the Uprising; Uprising vs Riot – conversations about language, legacy, long term impact; what has happened in the last year; where do we go from here; what is the power of our story.”
The panel will include Dr. Brian Morrison, founder of the William J. Watkins, Sr. Educational Institute, social activist, Makayla Gilliam Price, senior at Baltimore City College public high school and Katrina Bell McDonald, associate professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University.
Yuen said she has heard phrases such as, “I don’t understand why the cops hate us so much; we need another big thing in this city before things will really change.”
Two exhibitions will support this event and anniversary. “BMORE Than the Story,” which runs from April 16 – August 28, 2016 is an exhibition of the work of students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts who collaborated with students from the University of Maryland College Park to addresses the one-sided media portrayal and discusses the realities of the students’ lives.
“Question Bridge: Black Males,” which runs from April 28-September 30 is an innovative video installation that “probes black men as they ask and answer provocative questions to each other such as, “Why am I a traitor for dating outside of my race?” “What’s your greatest fear?” The videos were collected from 150 men from across the U.S., then woven together to simulate a real-time conversation covering themes of family, love, education, violence, and more. The vulnerability and generosity of the men produces complex and authentic images of black men rarely seen in American media. The viewer also gets a window into the complex and often unspoken dialogue among African American men and offers new possibilities for witnessing our common humanity.”