In Baltimore, Nov. 25 marks the anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising. On that date last year, less than 24 hours after Missouri's grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, hundreds took to the streets and laid the groundwork for the movement that would gain national attention following the death of Freddie Gray in April. This year on Nov. 25, a small but passionate group of activists gathered in front of City Hall as part of West Wednesday and discussed ongoing concerns over police brutality, offered words of encouragement, and reminded everybody that Gray is just one of many victims in the city. It was a heartening reunion and a reminder that the fight for change is ongoing.
On last week's episode of Dave Zirin's podcast Edge of Sports—"where sports and politics collide"—Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos was the guest. As readers may recall, Angelos famously responded to April's violence near Camden Yards by pointing out that the problems that birthed the Baltimore Uprising "far exceed the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards." He expounded on those thoughts as jury selection began in the first Freddie Gray trial this week and also commented, cogently and sensitively, on topics such as deindustrialization, Syrian refugees, and what the city of Baltimore owes its residents. It's a fascinating and important talk from Angelos, who has been unafraid to grapple with the city's issues when so many others would rather avoid the conversation.
Beating out Pitchfork, NPR, and all the other big music sites, our local airport was the first place on God's green Earth to play a new album from Animal Collective, the Baltimore-bred psych-pop band that has become a pretty big deal in independent music. The new album—called "Painting With," and due out in February—played over terminal speakers on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. An official from BWI told City Paper the album premiere was part of a partnership with radio station WTMD to enliven the airport experience with Baltimore music. Even if this premiere stunt only registered with people who were already fans of the band, it's still cool that our airport is serving as a booster for the arts.
Even though the Ravens managed to squeak out a win against the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 22, their horrible season sank further into the depths of doom and gloom after both quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett suffered season-ending injuries. Flacco's ACL tear casts doubt about his prospects for the 2016 season. Over the last seven weeks, the Ravens have gone from fucked to really fucked to incredibly fucked to "this team is totally cursed" fucked. Although they did beat the Browns on Monday night, we invite you to direct your attention instead to the No. 2 Maryland men's basketball team, No. 6 Maryland women's basketball team, and first-place Baltimore Blast.
In April, Nikkia Rowe was featured in the Huffington Post, the high school she helms held out as an example of positive change in a Baltimore that was in the midst of an uprising. In October on NPR did a segment on the school, highlighting its unique mentoring program as a hopeful note in a neighborhood that needs it. The school had been spared closure under a district-wide plan. Then a student was caught with a gun inside the building, and last week, another student stabbed his friend and fellow student in class. The victim who was knifed remains in critical condition, his alleged assailant was jailed and charged as an adult, and the school is again facing the possibility of closure.