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February 1st, 2014
thesmithian

…a decidedly judgment-free approach to the…characters and situations in…12 O’Clock Boys…[an] unvarnished, kinetic, often disturbing portrait of illegal dirt bikers in…Baltimore.

more.

November 4th, 2013
thesmithian
…these so called ‘failing schools’ have all had rich histories, some of them close to a hundred years in the making, which involve themes ranging from migration and immigration, to musical creativity, to changing economies and neighborhoods, which live in the experience of alumni as well as documents the schools themselves have preserved. Closing the schools not only shatters the possibility of drawing upon that rich cultural capital, it sends a message to students that nothing in the past is that important, including their own families and cultural traditions, treating them as clay to be molded by people who see the past—at least for people like them—only as failure.
Author/professor Mark Naison
October 30th, 2013
thesmithian

'The Wire Poster Project'” [is] 60 typographic posters, each…representing one of the…epigrams preceding every episode of 'The Wire.' Produced by graphic artist Oliver Munday, each purchase will benefit the Baltimore Urban Debate League. 

more.

'The Wire Poster Project'” [is] 60 typographic posters, each…representing one of the…epigrams preceding every episode of 'The Wire.' Produced by graphic artist Oliver Munday, each purchase will benefit the Baltimore Urban Debate League.

more.

August 26th, 2013
thesmithian

Thirty-two…countries receive more direct aid from the U.S. government than the city of Detroit. This is not to say that Iraq and Nigeria and Mexico don’t need…assistance or are undeserving of help from the United States. But when you look at the raw numbers, you start to wonder if *some* of that cash could be better served in Oakland and Baltimore instead of Karachi and Kabul.

more.

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art: photo of abandoned building (February 24 2013) in Detroit by J.D. Pooley

August 22nd, 2013
thesmithian

"When you get the ball, and the offensive line stands up, the defense can’t really see us," [Darren] Sproles says, referring to his fellow pipsqueaks, like Baltimore’s Ray Rice. "When they do see us, we’re already up on them."

more.



May 12th, 2013
thesmithian

[Martin] O’Malley, who is fifty and handsome in a Kennedy sort of way, has made a career out of all the politician stuff, chomping his way up the political food chain like a man hungry for more than a deli sandwich. After serving as a Baltimore city councilman in the 1990s, he was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1999 and then governor of Maryland seven years later, where he’ll remain until 2015. Because of term limits, he can’t run again. Every pundit in America has predicted he’s going to run for president in 2016, and O’Malley has done everything he can to encourage that speculation, short of outright admitting it’s true.

more.

March 31st, 2013
thesmithian

'A drug arrest does not require anything other than getting out of your radio car and jacking people up against the side of the liquor store. The problem is that that cop that made that cheap drug arrest, he's going to get paid. He's going to get the hours of overtime for taking the drugs down to…[the evidence control unit]. He's going to get paid for processing the prisoner down at central booking. He's going to get paid for sitting back at his desk and writing the paperwork for a couple hours. Then the case is going to get called to court and a prosecutor's going to sign his overtime slip for two, three hours to show up for a case that's probably going to be stetted [dropped] because it's unconstitutional. And he's going to do that 40, 50, 60 times a month. So his base pay might end up being half of what he's actually paid as a police officer. Meanwhile…In Baltimore, the clearance rates—our percentage of arrests for felonies—for rape, murder, robbery, auto theft, for the things that make a city unlivable—are half of what they once were. Our drug arrest stats are twice what they once were. That makes a city unlivable. It creates a criminal atmosphere that has no deterrent. It makes a police department where nobody can solve a fucking crime.'

more, from David Simon of The Wire regarding a new documentary.

January 25th, 2013
thesmithian

Robert F. Chew, a Baltimore actor and teacher who portrayed the drug kingpin Proposition Joe on HBO’s “The Wire,” died Jan. 17 of an apparent heart ailment at his home in Baltimore…He was 52.

RIP.

January 7th, 2013
thesmithian

The development process took time. And chemicals. It also took a dedicated space where the work could safely unfold. That space was called a darkroom.

more.

November 13th, 2012
thesmithian

We probably won’t realize what saved or killed Detroit, Gary, Baltimore, or, really, America, until it’s already happened. Can you live with that?

more.

July 2nd, 2012
thesmithian

The only time I ever considered suicide was when, unexpectedly, mom informed me and baby bro Carlos that we were moving from Harlem to Baltimore. It was the summer of ’78, and I had just turned 16. We were transported by Greyhound bus to the sinister city where, I had read, a drunken Edgar Allan Poe died in the gutter and hophead Billie Holiday flopped.

more, from “Memoir of a Black Punk,” here.

The only time I ever considered suicide was when, unexpectedly, mom informed me and baby bro Carlos that we were moving from Harlem to Baltimore. It was the summer of ’78, and I had just turned 16. We were transported by Greyhound bus to the sinister city where, I had read, a drunken Edgar Allan Poe died in the gutter and hophead Billie Holiday flopped.

more, from “Memoir of a Black Punk,” here.

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