My town borders West Baltimore, scene of violence, looting and fires last night as Baltimore erupted in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody.  A sad night as my son and his girlfriend looked out at shop windows smashed and fires burning in East Baltimore. A frightening night as we waited to see how bad it would get. A sorrowful night as the results of generations of oppression and violence played out before our eyes. As we thought about “What if it was my son who had died this way?”

I don’t know what this will do to Baltimore over time. For now, there’s a 10 pm curfew in effect. It’s unclear what will happen if it’s disregarded. National Guards, state troopers and police are present in an effort to prevent further rioting and destruction. Schools are closed, businesses shut down early, baseball games played to an empty stadium, some shops are vandalized. Baltimore’s present has not been easy. How will this affect it’s future?

I see that in the midst of crisis the Department of Hope remains open.

See Justin Fenton’s twitter feed,,  for dance parties, drumming and peaceful protest. And see this, as neighbors meet each other and clean up their community.

Could this turn into an opportunity for the great city of Baltimore to become a better place for all?


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