Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Ease Cabin Fever – First Person Stories about Race in Baltimore

Executive Director

Executive Director

If you are snow bound, I urge you take a few minutes and listen to the stories posted on the web page of the Open Society Institute:  Across the Divide: Stories about Race in Baltimore. (http://www.soros.org/initiatives/baltimore/multimedia/divide_20091104.)   The stories are part of year long partnership between OSI and WYPR, Baltimore’s public radio station.   Each is a first person monologue and provides a perspective on the experience of race and how racial attitudes are formed.   Below is a description of the series from OSI:

“Across the Divide” series is a collection of personal stories about race in Baltimore. Some stories are about events that laid the foundation for how someone thinks about race in their lives; others are events that made people rethink the role race plays in their lives. Some of the stories are even funny. The point is to break a hugely complicated subject into life-size pieces by sharing stories of how race is learned and lived in our community.

These radio stories will air regularly on Maryland Morning on WYPR 88.1 FM through February 2010. “Across the Divide” is produced in collaboration with OSI-Baltimore, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and The Stoop Storytelling series.

Episode Five: “Not Black, Not White, Not Latino. Native American”
OSI-Baltimore Fellow Ashley Minner talks about being a 26-year-old Native American in Baltimore.

Episode Four: “Black and Blacker”
Antonio Johnson is a student at Morgan State University. He tells us about the segregation he saw in Baltimore growing up, and how, in his predominately African-American middle school, lighter-skinned and darker-skinned African Americans divided into their own cliques.

Episode Three: “There was a coldness that happened”
One of the lesser-noted aftershocks of the infamous 1968 riots was the “Maryland Youth Rally for Decency” at Memorial Stadium on April 20, 1969. It was anything but decent. In a melee tinged with racial tension, scores were injured—including several police officers—and seven were stabbed. Tyrone Crawley, who grew up in East Baltimore, was there; he was 13 at the time. He tells us his story.

Episode Two: “I think I was six or seven before I realized that the whole world wasn’t Jewish”
In the second in our “Across the Divide” series of personal stories about race, Senator Ben Cardin talks about growing up in a racially and ethnically segregated Baltimore.

Episode One:  “No, you got my job”
Eddie Bartee Sr. worked at the steel factory at Sparrows Point for over 42 years. He was a union leader for many of those years and, as an African-American worker, was on the frontlines of the consent decree that integrated the factory on the heels of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the first story in our series, Bartee talks about the first day the consent decree went into effect.

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