BMORE Than the Story
April 16 - Aug. 28
Last year, a planned student walkout and protest in honor of Freddie Gray by Frederick Douglass High School students turned into a stand-off between students and Baltimore Police. When public transit at Mondawmin Mall was shut down, leaving students with no way to get home, kids threw bricks and rocks and in turn felt the impact of rubber bullets. As youth have become leaders in combating repressive legislation—like the 2014 citywide curfew requiring youth to be inside by 11 p.m.—and systemic issues like the school-to-prison pipeline and police brutality, it would be inexcusable to reflect on the protests and riots without lending an ear to the young. The second of four featured programs and exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum centers around the uprising, "BMore Than the Story" and provides a platform for the overlooked perspectives of youth while challenging the sensationalized narratives of the national media. The exhibit, a collaboration between students at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts and the University of Maryland Graphic Design Cohort, showcases student artwork reflecting the artists' lived reality of Baltimore before, during, and after the uprising. Now, it's time for parents, teachers, police, politicians, and everyone in between to shut up and just listen. Opening reception with community forum and performances 1:30 p.m. April 16, on view through Aug. 28, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, 830 E. Pratt St., (443) 263-1800, lewismuseum.org, included with museum admission. (Deneia Washington)
9th Annual Boundary Block Party
Last year's eighth annual Boundary Block Party (which, every year, brings out folks from nearby Upton, Sandtown-Winchester, Druid Heights, Bolton Hill, and elsewhere) was pretty great—there were marching bands, a kids' fashion show, African dancing, line dancing, plus hotdogs and hamburgers (duh), and art to make and fresh produce to buy. And there were organizations with resources and info on things like voter registration, case expungement, lead poisoning, and health and fitness. It was less than two weeks after April 27, the day of the riot, which made it feel like we all understood more than ever why communities should come together and figure out ways to strengthen each other, envision better futures, and just have some fun. This year, catch the Brown Memorial Choir, Twilighters Marching Band, Jubilee Arts dance students, and more—and stay a little longer for the "Say It Loud" film festival, at Jubilee Arts, from 4-10 p.m. featuring films that deal with social justice and activism. Oh, also, City Paper will be there in the afternoon. Come say hey. Noon-4 p.m., Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle Park, Pennsylvania Ave. and Presstman Street, noboundariescoalition.com, free. (Rebekah Kirkman)
Peabody Institute faculty member Judah Adashi's original composition 'Rise,' a collaboration with poet Tameka Cage Conley inspired by civil rights protests beginning with the Selma marches, premiered in D.C. on April 19, 2015—the day Freddie Gray died. As if the ringing lyrics "hands up, heads down" could be any more haunting. Exactly a year later, Adashi remounts the performance in Baltimore to commemorate both Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed his death. You can listen to the first four minutes on Bandcamp, but now is the chance to see the piece performed in its 40-minute entirety—in addition to Adashi's brand-new composition 'The Beauty of the Protest' inspired by Devin Allen's photography of the Uprising—by Howard University's Afro Blue, the Howard University Choir, cellist Lavena Johanson, the Peabody Community Chorus, and the Occasional Symphony. The performance will immediately follow a conversation between Sonja Sohn, star of "The Wire" and founder of the local nonprofit ReWired for Change; D. Watkins, author of "The Beast Side" and "The Cook-Up"; poet Tariq Touré; and artist and former NFL linebacker Aaron Maybin (Watkins and Touré have both contributed to City Paper). Two days before, on April 17, you can also hear Adashi and Cage Conley discuss their work at Red Emma's at 7:30 p.m. Panel conversation 6:30 p.m., concert 7:30 p.m., Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church, 10 E. Mt. Vernon Place, risebmore2016.com, free. (Maura Callahan)
Rashad Shabazz Presents "Spatializing Blackness"
In Baltimore, at least, telling evidence of racism in American politics, law enforcement, and urban planning can be found on a map. One need only look to Freddie Gray's neighborhood in Sandtown—impoverished, boarded up, lacking sufficient fresh food sources and transportation services, economically isolated from the rest of the city, and almost entirely black. It's no secret these factors played a role in Gray's arrest and are both symptoms and causes of the continued neglect of African-American communities. Although Baltimore's particular brand of spatial racialization is not quite like anywhere else, our city is not the only one in America that boxes in communities based on race. In his book "Spatializing Blackness" author Rashad Shabazz looks at Chicago and specifically its enforced confinement of black masculinity through urban planning, incarceration, and policing. "What happens when people are raised in environments built to contain them?" Shabazz asks in his introduction. "How does this affect their sense of mobility and inform their conditions of possibility? What role does this play in how they perform gender?" Hear the author outline his research in response to these questions tonight. 7:30 p.m., Red Emma's, 30 W. North Ave., (443) 602-7585, redemmas.org, free. (Maura Callahan)