Writer and vendor Jeffrey McNeil. Source:

Whenever I’m in a poverty mode I listen to the song “We Fall Down” by Donnie McClurkin to make me strong.

“We fall down but we get up, For a saint is just a sinner who fell down But we couldn't stay there and got up.”

I’m never one to blame circumstances for failure. I am not a fan of preference or diversity, I don't want to get ahead because I am different, I want to succeed because I am qualified. 

Mother fights for the legalization of midwives in MD.

On March 8th, 2013, (coincidentally on International Women's Day) Indyreader's Corey Reidy sat down with local midwife to hear about the fight to legalize midwifery in Maryland. You may hear and read her words, however she must stay nameless in order to protect herself since it is currently illegal for her to practice within the State of Maryland as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), a credential she earned through rigorous training standards and passing several National Board Exams.A broad coalition has been working steadfastedly in order to change this reality. Last year the coalition fought to gain full legality of midwives. This was met with seemingly unshakeable opposition. This year the coalition is has re-emerged in the session with a surge of energy to make the public aware of the realities behind homebirth and midwifery, as well as a new bill that aims to seek approval for a three-year pilot program for CPM's.

The B&O Railroad.

The B&O Railroad Museum is a landmark of Southwest Baltimore, its roundhouse an integral part of the skyline. It boasts of its status as the “birthplace of American railroading” and inside the museum you will find plenty of evidence of the impacts of the railroad on American society. We have shared standard time because trains needed a way to avoid running into each other.

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My husband is a Black man. He is one of the hardest working Americans I know, but he is wearing the face of crime in America. Although it may be of little comfort to know this, the Bernie Madoffs and Wall Street derivative junkies of the world are more likely to do you harm than my dapper husband walking to his car parked on St. Paul Street. If the face of crime in America is not the Black man, then what does it look like? How can we adjust our thinking about this pervasive lie?

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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear...” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

Our interest for self-preservation needs no introduction or explanation. Without mankind’s propensity and efficiency for self-preservation, we would be yet one more fossil set for some future intelligent species to chip their shovels upon.

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On Thursday, February 28th, the Maryland State Senate voted 28 to 19 to pass the Governor’s gun control bill.[1] It is off to the House of Delegates for final approval, and if approved will move on to the Governor’s desk for signature.

Photo source: soulbrotherv2.blogspot

Racism as a persistent cancer of the American system, infecting the blood that runs through its democratic veins, is an idea that is not readily accepted by the White status quo. The dominant culture sees racism as some inconsequential strange and unique appendage of the Republic that can be severed, ignored, or accommodated with special considerations for the handicapped. So when Derrick Bell, a cerebral, Harvard legal scholar admired by President Obama, identified racism as a terminal disease that is permanent, Whites went all Farrakhan on him. The media tied Obama to Bell in his Harvard years and pilloried the President with slurs that he is a racist

Guest columnist Renard Barton is a graduate from Heritage High School, and currently attends the University of Baltimore.

(Renard Barton, a former student of Iris Kirsch, is a guest columnist for Future Imperfect: An Education Report for Tense Times. Iris Kirsch will return to her column on March 11th.)

As a teacher, it is better to have a loving classroom environment than a fearful classroom environment. Of course there are pros and cons to both. But from a little research it is possible to determine whether one outweighs the other. Although it is the teacher’s job to determine how they are going to run their classroom, it is generally better for student achievement to have a loving classroom environment.

Zapatistas march in Ocosingo, December 21, 2012. Source:

On December 21st of last year, as many across the world were speculating about the end of the Mayan calendar, 40,000 actual Mayans marched silently into five cities in Chiapas, Mexico, putting the Zapatistas and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) back into the forefront of grassroots political discourse the world over, and mainstream political discourse in Mexico. A stream of provocative communiques from the EZLN's spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos, have followed.

Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots by Sue Spaid, Marianne Amoss, Kristian Bjørnard and Jenny Kaminsky

It seems that the biggest thing holding back eco-art these days is the lack of information about their practices. People always seem receptive to artists’ innovative ideas. On January 18th, 2013, at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse, a release event was held for the book Green Acres: Artists Farming Fields, Greenhouses and Abandoned Lots. Here, we bring you a panel discussion about issues raised by the book.


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