365 Days Later

Today marks one year since Freddie Gray’s death.

One year since Baltimore was shaken to it’s core. One year since glass was shattered, businesses were destroyed and lives were changed forever.

I spent much of last week thinking back and remembering the events that led to the unrest and decided that I wanted to see the mural that was painted (by Baltimore street artist Nether and one of Gray’s friends) on Mount Street.

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There were smaller murals on surrounding walls and I watched a man walk down the street towards one of the murals. I thought he was stopping to look at it, but instead he kissed his palm and pressed it against the painted bricks of the building. I couldn’t stop the hot tears from falling down my face. I was crying for Freddie Gray and his friends and family. I was crying for the community and the pain and anger they felt and still feel. I was crying for everyone who felt misunderstood and unappreciated. And I was crying for Baltimore and the hearts that were shattered as the city was attacked.

No matter your thoughts or opinions on what happened one year ago, the heartbreak and pain that all Baltimoreans felt was real.

One year later we are growing, rebuilding and telling the world that we are still here. Folks are making an effort and a difference in their communities and in our city. Initiatives, nonprofit organizations, events and organizations are being created to better Baltimore and spotlight the good things happening every day. 

Light City brought hundreds of thousands of people to the Inner Harbor over the course of seven days. Locals and tourists alike interacted and viewed light exhibits as the sun set over Charm City. 

Street Artists Gaia and Nether have spent years in Baltimore shining light on social issues and using their art to speak up for those who are unable to. The Slumlord Project was created to combat urban blight in some of the worst areas of Baltimore. The same street artists have come together to create pieces during the unrest to start the tough conversations.

The Inner Harbor Project is developing the Code of Respect which creates guidelines for how teenagers should behave in public spaces around the Inner Harbor. Starting the conversation and opening lines of communication allows us to understand one another better and move towards change. 

Let’s move forward with the next 365 and share positivity and love. Take a second to be kind to a stranger today. Share the love that I know we all have for the people that make this city our home.

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  • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

    Seeing how much growth Baltimore has been able to do since one year ago is amazing. I can’t wait to see where this city goes next. There is just so much to offer, and it’s amazing to see people coming together for one common thing.