Prince Announces Rally 4 Peace Concert in Baltimore

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According to WTOP.com and CBS News.com, music artist Prince has announced a special concert in Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena on Mother’s Day May 10, 2015.  Royal Farms Arena is located about a block away from the Baltimore Convention Center on the corner of Baltimore Street and Hopkins Place.  It’s also a short distance from the Inner Harbor.  Prince will be appearing with his band 3RDEYEGIRL.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday May 6) at 5:00pm at Live Nation.com.

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“In a spirit of healing, the event is meant to be a catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence that has gripped Baltimore and areas throughout the US. As a symbolic message of our shared humanity and love for one another, attendees are invited to wear something gray in tribute to all those recently lost in the violence,” the press release states.

Live Nation says Prince recorded a song entitled “Baltimore” in response to recent civil unrest following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from injuries he received while in police custody.

The Warmth of Other Suns

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Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers (Shondaland) will be producing the upcoming FX channel limited series The Warmth of Other SunsThe Warmth of Other Suns was written by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson.

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Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will be working with writer/director Dee Rees who directed the upcoming HBO movie Bessie.

Published in 2010, The Warmth of Other Suns is nonfiction study of the Great Migration, in which, between 1915 and 1970, nearly 6 million black citizens fled the South for safety in northern and western cities. Wilkerson, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 and became the first African-American woman to do so, spent 15 years writing the 622-page New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Looking forward to seeing this series.  The article also talks about other black dramas in development:

WGN America is working on the 10-episode production Underground, HBO and Amblin TV have a Harriet Tubman biopic set to star Viola Davis, a Roots remake is headed to History, A&E, and Lifetime in 2016, and a miniseries named Freedom Run is in development at NBC.

I bought The Warmth of Other Suns last year. I guess I better hurry up and start reading it before it’s shown on FX.  You can buy the book/kindle edition at Amazon.com.

Where are the older black men in Baltimore?

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Yesterday I was watching CNN and Poppy Harlow was interviewing CNN writer/producer John Blake.  Mr. Blake returned to his West Baltimore neighborhood after the recent riots.  He wrote an excellent article titled Lord of the Flies Comes To BaltimoreLord of the Flies was written in 1954 and tells the story of a group of young boys plane-wrecked on a deserted island.  These young men try to govern themselves without any adult guidance.  When Mr. Blake returned to his West Baltimore neighborhood he felt like Lord of the Flies had taken over his old neighborhood.

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN)He was a quiet man who once stood watch on his front porch, just three blocks away from where a riot erupted in West Baltimore this week.

We called him “Mr. Shields” because no one dared use his first name. He’d step onto his porch at night in plaid shorts and black knit dress socks to watch the Baltimore Orioles play on his portable television set.

He was a steelworker, but he looked debonair: thin mustache always trimmed; wavy salt-and-pepper hair touched up with pomade; cocoa brown skin. He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well.

I knew Mr. Shields’ routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody.

It’s surreal to see your old neighborhood go up in flames as commentators try to explain the rage with various complex racial and legal theories. But when I returned to my home this week, the rage made sense to me. There were no more Mr. Shields — the older black men were gone.

Read the entire article here at CNN.com.

I don’t like Mondays

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There is something about Mondays that I have always hated.

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After the short weekend has flown by it’s the dread of getting up early for work on Monday mornings. If I had a busy weekend, including running errands, going places, taking care of household chores, etc., by the time Sunday night gets here I’m dead tired. I usually wash my hair on Sunday evenings so that just adds to the busy weekends.

So years ago I decided to take advantage of the Compressed Work schedule at work. Instead of the usual 8 hour work day I work eight 9 hour days, one 8 hour day and I have every other Monday off. I look forward to my 3 day weekends but the bad part is having to work those 9 hour days. It took me a long time to get use to this schedule but I’m surviving. Commuting from Maryland to Virginia doesn’t help. But having that 3 day weekend enables me to spread my weekend activities out and get some rest at the same time.

I still don’t like the other Monday when I do have to go to work but having the other Monday off makes it tolerable. I guess :-( Today I had to come in and I was so sleepy. I’m sure staying up later than I should doesn’t help the situation.

D.C.’s Funk Parade

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Yesterday D.C. held its 2nd annual Funk Parade along the U Street corridor. The Funk Parade is a celebration of the city’s diversity and culture.

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Carl Gray Jr. was participating in the District’s second annual Funk Parade, which featured a street fair and concerts in the U Street area throughout the day, highlighted by a parade at 5 p.m. that started at the Howard Theatre in Shaw and ended at the Lincoln Theatre on U Street NW.

“Understanding brings us together to change the system; the lyrics and the music does that,” said Gray, a videographer for the Funk Parade who was 14 and living in Northwest when rioters burned down much of the U Street Corridor after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. “[The District] looked like a war zone. . . . How are we going to fight when we’re grooving?”

The Funk Parade was created by Justin Rood and Chris Naoum.

Thousands of people attended the parade, which featured local marching bands, dance troupes, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), and anyone else who wanted to jump in.

Bowser marched with a crew of supporters, chucking green bead necklaces at people who lined the streets on every jammed sidewalk, stoop, restaurant patio, fire escape, balcony and rooftop with a sliver of space.

Check out the entire article here and you can also check out the Funk Parade website here.

The Power of Peace

Ladyrayne:

Great work Shawn.

Originally posted on Shawn Hubbard / Photographer - Blog:

Yesterday a large group of mostly college students marched from Penn Station down to City Hall and back again. The number of marchers was estimated to be over 1000 and the racial diversity within the group was striking. The demonstrators remained peaceful yet unrelenting in their mission to preach about the inequalities in the black community and to demand justice for Freddie Gray. (These images are available for licensing, contact mail@shawnhubbardphoto.com)

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A picture from Baltimore

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I saw this picture of the National Guardsman and the little girl at the Baltimore Sun.

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The picture was taken by Annapolis writer and activist Amanda Moore. The article stated that many people found the picture heartwarming. I thought it was heartwarming. But I also thought “is that gun he’s holding loaded?” And maybe he should point it in a different direction.

A picture posted Friday to the popular Reddit website showing a young girl and a National Guardsman on the streets of Baltimore has drawn more than 2.5 million views so far.

The image was taken by Amanda Moore, 26, an Annapolis-based activist and writer, who said she spent the past week in the city trying to assist in efforts against police brutality.

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