I Will Fight For This

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It had just begun to rain, as various leaders of the community took their seats. Cops, police officers, of high and low rank, suited, unsuited, in uniform, all, mingling. We were awaiting the arrival of Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, and newly minted, acting Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis. It’s a Public Safety Forum. This is not West Baltimore, or East Baltimore, where the hotbed of uprisings took place this summer,(2015) but South Baltimore.

The building for this assemblage, looked immaculate, owned by the National Federation of the Blind, whose principals wore business suits, with only their white canes, indicating their challenge, if not their living standards. The Southern District of the Baltimore Police Department, is headquartered at 10 Cherry Hill Road, but not where the forum is being held. There are almost 40 neighborhoods in this district, but the only ones that make the news constantly, are Cherry Hill, Westport and Brooklyn. Most of the attendees were from Fells Point, Federal Hill, Riverside; areas near the gold mine, i.e. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The National Federation of the Blind felt good to be host, for its members too, “have been fighting for civil rights” according to their President. Mayor Rawlings Blake said despite the black eye caused by the riots in Baltimore, she “will fight for progress” and not allow a “few handful of repeat offenders” thwart her progress. She is for police accountability, as the public has requested, but “it is not easy”.

Commissioner Kevin Davis relayed that the rank and file Police are not against body cameras, in fact, “if they were available, the line would stretch from HQ, all the way up the 83 Expressway”.

After the Q&A, I wanted to find out from the lees affluent neighborhood association officials, what their thoughts were about these forums. Watch the video.

Audience in attendance at Public Safety Forum

Audience in attendance at Public Safety Forum

All I want is to drink and Smoke Pot

                    

 

Saturday August 8, and Sunday August 9th, 2015. They descended like sudden raindrops, similar to the contrary forecasts, weather personnel often spew. The entire Pimlico Racecourse infield was transformed into a

Picture of a scene at a Moonrise Concert

Picture of a scene at a Moonrise Concert, 2014

The video is a snippet of what happened in Baltimore, published on Youtube.

modern-day “Woodstock”, as a reminder of what took place in the 1960’s when free love took the nation by storm, and Rock N Roll music drove our youth to planets not created by our creator.

THE MOONRISE FESTIVAL lasting for 12 hours each day from eleven to eleven, at a ticket cost of $200 to $225, for what? To party! And how do people who can afford those tickets party? You guessed it. To name some of the groups: ZEDS DEAD, THE FLOOZIES.

Outside Pimlico, were Baltimore’s finest, Police, Fire and Rescue, and not to mention, the organizers own Security detail. Why is this of concern to THE CULTURE PAGE?

This is inside Baltimore, in the heart of the city, what does such an art project do for the advancement of the city? Do politicians, preachers, put their hands together in applause at this influence on our youth, or are they looking the other way?

The groupies who cannot afford the tickets prices, would be hanging outside waiting for the affluent, who have to leave early to get to their suburban homes. Their entrance wrist bands, and left over paraphernalia would be handed to that lot. The economic rewards for residents in the area, came from  renting their lawn space at $20 a car; the majority race inhabiting the city, sold bottled water on wheels. Could you imagine the cost of a booth? this is not Rashfield!

” Ten to 30 million children worldwide are orphaned and must support themselves by working, begging, stealing, selling sex and trafficking illicit substances. Estimates say that up to 90 percent of these street children use substances of one kind or another. The initial use of a substance among street children is known to be as early as age 5.
World Health Organization’s Program on Substance Abuse, funded by the United Nations Drug Control Program.”

As a favor to the residents who live in zip codes 21205 and 21209, if they showed valid I.D., free entrance towards the end of the day, to join the growing drinking and pot smoking population?

So I had to leave my new-found friend, who could not afford the entrance fee, and decided to wait for the end, when he could find someone from the culture to share a “drink, and smoke some pot”., and later join a substance abuse program. MAYBE?

 

Can Baltimore Gain Dignity Through Struggle

Backdrop for dancers at Towson University, showing solidarity for the

Backdrop for dancers at Towson University, showing solidarity for the “unheard”

Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP and Anna Deavere Smith, Actress/Activist.

Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP and Anna Deavere Smith, Actress/Activist.

Koli Tengeila, teacher/activst

Koli Tengeila, teacher/activst

What would bring native Baltimorean/Renown Actress of television, stage and film, ANNA DEAVERE SMITH, and the hard hitting proud President, and Director Counsel of the NAACP, SHERRILYN IFILL, together? In this case to announce a” finding” to benefit the “unheard”.

In the finding, the “unheard”, those without  voice, (in forums of policy making) have lost their self esteem, lost their dignity, and the many teens see school, as an avenue to prison. Is this not sad?

Smith has written about the Los Angeles California riots of 1992, and about the United States Health Care System. Has appeared  in the TV series West Wing, Nurse Jackie, and has taken the stories of the down trodden to the stage as a humanities effort.

The little girl who graduated from Western High School in Baltimore, is an icon, who will turn 65 this September, and is once more looking to be a champion for the “unheard”.

Ifill is not from Baltimore, but has been here long enough to wear the title. As President of the NAACP, her office is here. She has served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, and one easily misjudges her eloquence on law and strategy, by looking at her build, and toned down appearance. Like the legendary Annie Oakley (of the movies), she carries a gun, in fact two of them: President of the NAACP and Director Counsel of the Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The attached video gives you a snippet into what these women want to do for the “unheard” in Baltimore. The date is June 3/2015. Also present was a young Baltimore man speaking for the “unheard” and KOLI TENGELLA, teacher/activist.