Kate Drabinski

Kate Drabinski

Kate Drabinski teaches Gender and Women’s Studies at UMBC and spends the rest of her time on her bike, thinking about the history, politics, and economics of the built environments through which she rides. She can also be found at http://whatisawridingmybikearoundtoday.wordpress.com/


416 East 31st Street in Baltimore. Photo by Kate Drabinski.

To walk around Charles Village and Greenmount today is to move through rapidly changing neighborhoods, those changes marked by steady decrease in trees and flowers and fancy cornices atop the ubiquitous brick homes as one travels east from St. Paul Street. There are layers and layers of stories here, of planned development, racial segregation, of bars and restaurants and the stuff of daily life. One of those layers is a distinctly gay history, one whose outlines and traces have to be pointed out as they fade behind the more visceral daily reminders of racism.

Lee-Jackson Monument in Baltimore, MD. Photo By: Kate Drabinski
Baltimore is a city with a vexed relationship to its own Civil War past, and for good reason. Maryland never seceded from the Union, but its citizens leaned strongly toward the Confederacy. Any schoolchild from or tourist to Baltimore knows the first blood of the Civil War was shed here, in the Pratt Street Riots, violence that ensued when Baltimoreans attacked Union soldiers heading south through the city for war.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards from the Third Baseline. Photo By: Kate Drabinski.

On March 24th, 2013, local historians, activists, and interested parties gathered at Camden and S. Eutaw to join in the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. The plaque joins a slew of public memorials in this part of southwest Baltimore but was the first recognizing the role of laborers and their struggles in the making of this place.

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.

Roger Taney Memorial in Baltimore, MD

Baltimore is Mobtown, Charm City, The City That Reads, City of Firsts, The Greatest City in America, and Monument City, to name just a few of our nicknames. Some are earned; we became Mobtown after the vicious mob violence brought down on Alexander Contee Hanson and the other Federalist newspapermen who opposed the War of 1812.

The Roger Taney Memorial: Baltimore Histories
Labor and Public Memory
Let’s Play Ball! Nostalgia at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
They Were Great Generals and Christian Soldiers: Remembering Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson
Gay History on 416 East 31st Street