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Baltimore is considerably calmer in the days since the so-called riots that broke out last Monday (April 27), yet an ominous haze still hangs over the city despite recent developments in the Freddie Gray case. From Monday to Friday, I was there to report on what was transpiring and observed varying expression of anger, passion, and even hope.

Baltimore is a city divided into neighborhoods that are almost self-contained, with very clear lines of the haves and have-nots. I was told that the hipster-friendly and generally police free neighborhood of Hampden was infamous for forcing Black folks out in times past. Canton, another neighborhood where Black folks are rarely seen, is one of the many gentrifying areas across Baltimore that also faced none of the distress of the protests or overbearing quasi-military presence.

On social media, photos of these sections and their relative lack of unrest revealed what many know about the imbalance of racial equality that has long existed there. The same was true for Federal Hill, Charles Village, Mt. Washington and other such neighborhoods. The middle to upper-middle-class residents of these places were never exposed to the overall tensions that threatened to rip apart the city.

Photo: D.L. Chandler/Hip-Hop Wired

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