A City Divided Becomes A City United: Baltimore’s Lesson

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Within the past few weeks, Baltimore Maryland has become the loudest, most vocal example of civil unrest over police brutality and economic injustice following the death of yet another black civilian, Freddie Gray, at the hands of police. This topic of black men being brutalized, slain and targeted by the police has become major news within the past year but has been an epidemic well known by black communities for decades upon decades.

The black community has been the victims of legal and economic cruelty and injustice and its voice has been unheard for much too long. Recently, the city of Baltimore has raised its voice to become the beckoning example of the plight and frustrations of black people everywhere, who are tired of their situation being swept under the rug and ignored.

In the days following the recent Freddie Gray death, there have been many protests and marches calling for justice and change in the black community, most of which were peaceful protests, but it all came to a violent boil over on Monday following Freddie Gray’s funeral when a group of High School students took it upon themselves to lash out by rioting, throwing rocks and bricks at police and sadly burning buildings and property in their own community, feeling that was a viable solution to the injustices they and so many others suffer at the hands of police. Though their actions brought negative attention to the black community, it also spawned a more positive response and action by many others, who the following day came out in force to show another, much more civilized and powerful message of unity amongst the people, who are still frustrated but expressed their frustrations in a much more productive manor.

Gang members who have for years been bitter rivals, formed truces and stood side by side, hand in hand with clergy, political activists, community members and activists from all over the region to become a unified voice of solidarity. Out of the flames came a community determined to show its commitment as a people united for the betterment of its community and to be an example for communities everywhere that if we stand together we can be a powerful voice for change and justice that will uplift our communities from within.

The day following the riot ended with minimal incident mainly due to the responsible acts of those who refused to allow their community to be portrayed in a negative light and be destroyed by those who should be lifting it up instead of taking attention from the true cause injustice towards our people.

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Update: In surprising fashion. Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has charged 6 police officers with homicide, unlawful imprisonment and a list of other charges for the death of Freddie Gray. This is a huge step towards justice. During the end of her press conference announcing the charges, State Attorney Mosby, who is 35-yrs of age, closed out with a powerful statement directed at the younger generation saying “this is our time.”

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– Written by Corey “Drumz” Banks

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