Image source:

“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.

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

“The White Masks Inspecting a Prisoner at Detective Headquarters,” Hughes Company Photograph Collection, unknown photographer (possibly James W. Scott), ca.1909, MdHS, PP8-585 / Z9.584.PP8.

Last week we reached out for help understanding a photograph, and wow, did we [Maryland Historical Society] get it. Our photo from the Hughes Company collection traveled far and wide. Different eyes saw different things happening. Speculations, observations, and facts, sent via e-mail and comments, ranged from thinking it was initiation ritual to a theatrical production still.

Image source:

Today America wants to have amnesia about its racist past, much less face its racially challenged present. While people of color, women and LGBT advocates are not quite melting into the white-dominant-patriarchal-hetero-pot as they demand rights and recognition, the rug is slipping out from under black people who led the way toward justice in the King era. Right wing bigots are quoting Dr. King in a Machiavellian attempt to confound the truth of their regressive agenda.

Photo By: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse

On December 19th, 2012, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse showed that poetry is one of the most tried and true forms of social justice making and sharing. It was described thus:

Raymond Santana Jr., Sarah Burns, and David McMahon at a screening of "The Central Park Five" at The Brown Center. - Baltimore, MD. Photo By: Joe Tropea

Here’s a story the media got wrong. The one about the 28-year-old Wall Street investment banker who went jogging one night, in the Harlem end of Central Park, and was brutally beaten, raped, and left for dead. The alleged perpetrators were quickly flashed before the public on every front page and television screen—they were five African-American and Latino young men, who admitted their guilt in videotaped confessions. It’s a story the police got wrong, too.

Armed guard outside school. (Source: Steve Liss/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image)

It’s been a month since tragedy struck Newtown, CT: a small, wealthy suburb of New York. On a clear December morning, a regular day at the local elementary school exploded in gunfire, forever transforming that community. In a few short minutes, they lost six adults and twenty children to dumbfounding violence.

Dovetail is an interview series that focuses on the subject of social movements, with special attention given to movement-building here in the Baltimore area. As the title suggests, a major aim of the series will be to look at where the various activist-efforts taking place in Baltimore fit together, reinforce each other, intersect, and so on. Put differently, a central theme will be identifying how the different "parts" of social movements interact with each other in such a way that fosters the growth and development of these "parts" and a larger, popular movement. Here, in the first installment of Dovetail, Kalima Young explains how her work with the Baltimore Art + Justice Project seeks to strengthen "art as a tool for social justice."


Subscribe to Culture