Tag: #BaltimoreUprising

Young Entrepreneurs Who Started Taharka Bros. Ice Cream in Baltimore are Subject of New Documentary “A Dream Preferred”

Large_devon_brown_and_mike_prokop__co-founders_of_taharka_brothers_ice_cream_featured_subjects_in_a_dream_preferred__photo_courtesy_of_tribeca_digital_studios__2_

The media’s representation of Baltimore in 2015 hasn’t been the kindest—well, aside from that time President Obama praised HBO’s The Wire. The sad fact is, the media would’ve continued to ignore the crime-ridden city’s residents’ needs and discontent had it not been for the tragic death of Freddie Gray, the 20-year-old black man who died while in police custody in early April.

Rightfully angered, many of Baltimore’s citizens let their frustrations be seen and heard via riots and protests. And since nationwide news outlets were there on the scene for every broken window and raised-in-solidarity fist, much of the viewing public saw Baltimore’s post-Gray events and formed opinions based on those acts.

Instead of spending so much time focusing on the city’s angriest moment, however, media outlets should be paying more attention to the young men and women who are busting their humps to uplift Baltimore both emotionally and financially.

In the new documentary short A Dream Preferred, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp) have done just that. Co-produced by Tribeca Digital Studios and American Express, the film—which is currently available on various cable on-demand platforms—follows the efforts of six young black men in Baltimore, led by an outspoken go-getter named Devon Brown, who’ve started their own dessert company, Taharka Bros. Ice Cream. (The name is a tribute to Taharka McCoy, a 25-year-old local mentor who was senselessly gunned down in January 2002.)

The company’s goal is, naturally, partly to use their handmade frozen treats to turn profits, but ultimately the Taharka Bros. are aiming to inspire other young entrepreneurs—they’re proof that inner-city minorities don’t need to play sports and make rap music to be successful.

A Dream Preferred, shot throughout the summer of 2013, captures their efforts to raise $28,000 in 29 days through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Dubbed “Vehicle for Change,” their Kickstarter plan was crucial to allow the brothers (in the figurative sense, not literally blood-connected siblings) elevate their business above using a rinky-dink ice cream truck.

With charisma to spare, the Taharka crew—especially Devon Brown, who’s the film’s de facto star—give A Dream Preferred a lightheartedness that offsets its heavier underlying themes, mainly the racial discrimination they experience everyday as young black men. In one scene, their efforts to solicit Kickstarter contributions from white folks is mostly a cold-shoulder struggle, and the Taharka brothers’ frustrations are visible.

That scene has struck a lot of people who’ve seen the film,” says Taharka Bros. creative director Darius Wilmore, 42. “It’s interesting, because that scene is part of the challenge of something like this. You have the softest product on the face of the Earth, which is ice cream, that’s made and sold by people who’ve been deemed to be the hardest, and that’s an interesting juxtaposition. Unfortunately, you can’t avoid the issue of race. It’s always gonna be there. Some people will be open to it and others aren’t, but you can’t let that stop you from doing what you’re trying to do.”

Continue reading “Young Entrepreneurs Who Started Taharka Bros. Ice Cream in Baltimore are Subject of New Documentary “A Dream Preferred””

Prince to Play “Rally 4 Peace” Concert in Baltimore this Sunday

Prince at the Grammy Awards in February.
Prince at the Grammy Awards in February. (Credit: John Shearer/Invision, via Associated Press)

A protest song was not enough.

Days after announcing his song “Baltimore,” a tribute to Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who suffered a fatal spinal-cord injury while in police custody, Prince has announced a surprise “Rally 4 Peace” concert in Baltimore. It will be held Sunday at Royal Farms Arena.

“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 U.S.,” Live Nation, the concert promoter, said in a statement. “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.”

Tickets go on sale today at 5 p.m. EST at LiveNation.com. Part of the proceeds will benefit Baltimore youth charities, organizers said.

While “Baltimore” has yet to be released — Prince said he was considering streaming the track on Jay Z’s Tidal service — its lyrics were made available online. The song begins:

Nobody got in nobody’s way

So I guess you could say

It was a good day

At least a little better than the day in Baltimore

Does anybody hear us pray?

For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray

Peace is more than the absence of war

Absence of war

article by Joe Coscarelli via nytimes.com

“I’m Here For You”: Black Baltimore Police Sergeant K Glanville Gives Moving Speech To Protesters (VIDEO)

Baltimore Police Sgt. K. Glanville (Photo via YouTube)
Baltimore Police Sgt. K. Glanville addresses group of peaceful protesters. (Photo via YouTube)

A police officer’s kind words during a period of unrest over the death of Freddie Gray touched many across Baltimore, who have for so long witnessed police violence in their communities.

Sgt. K Glanville spoke to a crowd on Saturday during a festive rally about her role as a police officer and expressed that not all officers are in the business of harming unarmed civilians. Glanville retold stories of her encounters with pedestrians in the city and says she understands why so many have questioned the tactics of police officers.

The mother says she gives out her number to children in an effort to show she is a protector of the community. According to the Huffington Post,

“My heart is in this,” Glanville told a small crowd. “I’m not wasting time on someone that’s not trying to let me in, when I got all these other people that got the door wide open, saying ‘Sgt. Glanville, please step in.’ I am here, I’m available. I give kids my phone number, I tell people ‘you need something, you call me.’ It all starts with relationship building.”

A Baltimore native and a 19-year veteran, the officer has never received a complaint. Her speech brought tears to the eyes of many in the small crowd. Glanville told onlookers that everyone has to start working together to stop the problem of police violence.

”We have to start doing better,” Glanville told the crowd. “We know better, and we have to start doing better. It doesn’t matter what color you are. People are watching to see the next move that Baltimore makes coming out of this … I want other cities to look at this and be able to see a template….And the main thing we need to do is make sure these babies are ok.”

The following day, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the overnight curfew would be lifted effective immediately. In a statement, Rawlings-Blake expressed that the curfew had helped reduce violence in the city following last Monday’s riots after Gray’s funeral.

Check out Glanville’s speech to the city of Baltimore below:

article by Desire Thompson via globalgrind.com

Prince Records Ode to Baltimore After Freddie Gray Protests

Singer-songwriter Prince records ode to Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray protests.

Moved by the unrest in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of the police, Prince has recorded a song critical of the killing of young African-American men, a publicist for the artist said Thursday to CNN.

It is a tribute to the people of Baltimore and #BaltimoreUprising, but will also address political and social issues throughout the country.  Prince has done so before, most notably with 1987’s top-three single “Sign O’ The Times.”

Prince’s Paisley Park Studios has not yet announced a release date.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Six Baltimore Police Officers Face Criminal Charges in Freddie Gray’s Death

Officials regained control by imposing a 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew and sending in thousands of National Guard troops and police officers from municipalities throughout the region.

Protesters and community leaders have demanded to know what happened to Gray during the 45 minutes from when he was taken into custody on April 12 to when he arrived at the police precinct and how his spine was severed.

“Mr. Gray’s death was a homicide,” Mosby declared Friday, a day after formally receiving a police investigation that supplemented her office’s work throughout the crisis. The final autopsy report on Gray’s death was delivered to the prosecutor Friday morning.

Gray’s arrest was illegal and the way he was treated by officers led to the charges of murder and manslaughter, Mosby said.  The most serious charge was second-degree “depraved heart” murder lodged against the driver of the van.

Three other officers face charges of involuntary manslaughter and two were charged with assault.

The top charge carries a penalty of 30 years in prison. Conviction on the manslaughter charges carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

“No one is above the law,” Mosby said at a news conference.

article by Timothy M. Phelps and Michael Muskal via latimes.com

Eric Garner’s Mother Gwen Carr Appears Before Lawmakers, Says Baltimore Riots Should Be A Wake-up Call

Gwen Carr According to Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, the riots going on in Baltimore should serve as a wake-up call to lawmakers in New York that something needs to change.

Carr, along with several relatives of police victims traveled to Albany, New York Tuesday to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo sign an executive order that would allow special prosecutors to step in to investigate police-related shootings, The New York Daily News reports.

She went on to say that many of the people who are rioting in Baltimore have reached a breaking point and in many ways, they are risking their lives to protect the lives of others who are in danger of being killed off by police in the future.

“It is very sad to see the city burning like that but sometimes people get so frustrated and they say enough is enough,” she said about Baltimore. “It just seems to me just watching it that they’re just laying their lives on the line to protect other people in the future.”

As for lawmakers, Carr had this to say:  “They need to wake up and see what’s really going on,” Carr said. “What caused this to happen? That’s the question they should ask and then correct that.”

Governor Cuomo had initially proposed criminal justice reforms that include appointing a special monitor to review cases involving deadly police encounters but has not gone as far as to allow special prosecutors to step in.

Carr and others, however, did not feel that this would be enough. Following their meeting Tuesday, Alphonso David, counsel to the governor, said that Cuomo promised to approve special prosecutors if the Legislature did not pick up his plan.

“We had a productive meeting, where both the Governor and the families of these victims had a detailed and respectful discussion on how to best reform the criminal justice system,” said David. “The Governor believes that his reform package is a balanced approach that would correct real and perceived inequities that exist within the system and he is intent on passing them in the remaining weeks of the legislative session.”

“He made it clear that if these reforms were not approved by the Legislature, he would sign an order creating a special prosecutor for police-involved fatalities,” David continued.

In a perfect world, lawmakers would have begun paying closer attention to these police-involved killings a long time ago. Hopefully, Governor Cuomo keeps his word and lawmakers across the nation will follow suit.

In other news, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that she will be sending two government officials to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.

article by Jazmine Denise Rogers via madamenoire.com

#BaltimoreUprising Protests Spread To NYC, DC And Beyond

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 11.58.56 PM
New York City Protest for Freddie Gray (Photo: Michael Skolnick)

Wednesday evening protests inspired by those who marched for answers in the death of Freddie Gray spread from Baltimore to other cities. Some highlights:

-In New York City, protesters starting at Union Square in Manhattan marched throughout the city, at one point shutting down the West Side highway and Holland Tunnel., according to CBS-2. At least one dozen arrests were made, according to USA Today, and Michael Skolnik of Interactive One, who was out with the marchers, and sent out a photo of Instagram of one of them. His caption: “Lots of arrests in NYC tonight. This could be a very long night…”

-In Washington, DCNBC-4 reported that “a large group of protesters,” rallied peacefully after gathering at Gallery Place and DuPont Circle.

-In Denver, a rally that started at the county jail ended with several arrests and police pepper-spraying protesters, reported ABC-7.

-In Minneapolisabout 1,500 people marched throughout the downtown area, reported the Star Tribune. There were no arrests.

-In Boston, the Boston Globe reported that more than 500 protesters marched after gathering behind police headquarters in the Roxbury section of the city.

Meanwhile, back in Baltimore, the epicenter of protests in reaction to the death of Freddie Gray after suffering a severed spine in police custody, USA Today reported that thousands gathered outside of City Hall. Eighteen people had been arrested in Baltimore by 8 p.m., including two juveniles, the paper reported. Just after a citywide 10 p.m.-5  a.m. curfew took effect, conditions were reportedly calm.

article via newsone.com

President Obama: Police Must Hold Officers Accountable for Wrongdoing

President Barack Obama (Photo via thegrio.com)
President Barack Obama (Photo via thegrio.com)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said the Baltimore riots show that police departments need to hold officers accountable for wrongdoing “instead of just the closing-ranks approach that all too often we see.”

In an interview broadcast Wednesday morning on “The Steve Harvey Morning Show,” Obama said his heart goes out of the Baltimore officers who were injured by rioters. He said there’s no excuse for that kind of violence and Baltimore police showed “appropriate restraint.”

But he said police departments have to build more trust in minority communities by building accountability and transparency.

“It’s in their interest to root out folks who aren’t doing the right thing, to hold accountable people when they do something wrong, instead of just the closing-ranks approach that all too often we see that ends up just feeding greater frustration and ultimately, I think, putting more police officers in danger,” Obama said in the interview taped Tuesday and broadcast on black radio stations nationwide.

Obama said Attorney General Loretta Lynch is reaching out to mayors to let them know what resources are available for retraining police and providing body cameras to hold them accountable. But he said solving the problems is going to require a broader political movement that addresses problems like poor education, drugs, absent fathers and limited job opportunities.

“If all we’re doing is focusing on retraining police but not dealing with some of these underlying issues, then these problems are going to crop up again,” Obama said.

“Unfortunately we’ve seen these police-related killings or deaths too often now,” Obama said. “And obviously everybody is starting to recognize that this is not just an isolated incident in Ferguson or New York, but we’ve got some broader issues.”

“I’ve seen this movie too many times before,” he added.

Asked whether he would visit Baltimore, Obama said he didn’t want to draw resources away from addressing the violence. “Once things have been cleared up, I think there’s going to be a time I go back to Baltimore.”

article by Nedra Pickler via thegrio.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: