Best Way to Get White People to Listen to Black Voices: ReWired for Change

Don’t get us wrong—we love “The Wire,” and we love that the cast came together at this year’s Artscape in a grand reunion to help amplify the voices of Baltimore residents in relation to the Baltimore Uprising. We love that Sonja Sohn and other actors from “The Wire” are still working to use their association with the show to make social change in the city. And yet there was something a bit disconcerting about the long—long—line of largely white folks waiting to file into the Lyric to listen to those stories come not from the residents of Sandtown, but from Bubbles, Jimmy, and Kima. Sure, the residents themselves started each monologue, but they were quickly joined on stage by the actors who finished them out—and from the audience response, it was clear we were there to see the actors from “The Wire” more than the people whose voices were ventriloquized. Is this what it takes to get white folks to sit down and really listen to black folks? We hope the Baltimore Uprising has taught Baltimore a different lesson.

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