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Understanding Civic Unrest in Baltimore: From the '68 Riots to the Uprising of 2015 and Present Day

Unrest is part of United States history. The goal of this resource is to help folks investigate the history of it, with a particular focus on Baltimore City,

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Curating Movements

A look at how Maryland cultural institutions have presented unrest in a museum setting. See also: #museumsrespondtoferguson on Twitter and Storify.

BMORE Than The Story
April 16 - August 28, 2016
Reginald F. Lewis Museum

"The violence that erupted in this spring in West Baltimore was both surprising and expected. The death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police became a tipping point for a community plagued by poverty, low academic achievement and limited economic opportunities. The overriding narrative of the media coverage was pejorative and full of scorn. Nearby schools and their students, including those at nearby Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (AFSIVA), were implicated in the crime and destruction, whether they committed them or not. These high school students lost control of how they wanted to be defined and regarded. This project seeks to give back that narrative through a series of visual and performing art works. ASFIVA students collaborated with graphic design students from the University of Maryland College Park to produce this exhibition that addresses the one-sided media portrayal and discusses the realities of the students’ lives."

Devin Allen: Awakenings, In a New Light
Baltimore photographer Devin Allen solo show
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum
July 10 - December 7, 2015

Photo by Devin Allen, Retrieved from The Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

"Devin Allen: Awakenings, In a New Light, the first solo show of Baltimore photographer Devin Allen, exhibits images of the 2015 Baltimore protests and debuts a new community space inside the Reginald F. Lewis Museum called Lewis Now. The 27-year old photographer graced the cover of Time Magazine in May, making him only the third amateur photographer to do so. The images on view reveal diverse moments, showing both the struggle and humanity of protest, including from the side of law enforcement.

Sponsored by PNC Bank.

This exhibition is free and open to the public, and does not require the purchase of museum admission."

Paul Henderson: Baltimore's Civil Rights Era in Photographs, ca. 1940-1960
Photographs by Baltimore Afro-American newspaper photojournalist Paul Henderson
Maryland Historical Society
February 2012 - Present

NAACP Membership Registration Campaign meeting, Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Paul Henderson, October 1948. MdHS, HEN.00.A2-147.

This exhibit was curated by MICA Photography alum Jennifer A. Ferretti (currently Digital Initiatives Librarian at MICA's Decker Library) and is the first non-war related photography show installed at the Maryland Historical Society in nearly 10 years. The show features 26 photographs by photojournalist Paul Henderson. Civil Rights efforts, including protests, were captured by Henderson as well as educational activities specifically for black students. Baltimore's NAACP, established in 1912, is the second oldest in the country, but laid dormant until the early 1930s when the Buy Where You Can Work campaign hit Pennsylvania Avenue businesses. From then through the 1960s, Baltimore was a hotbed of Civil Rights activity.

For more information, see the Henderson site


Decker Library at the Maryland Institute College of Art | Location: 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 | Mailing: 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

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