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New York Times profiles growing Baltimore beauty company

A New York Times article puts the spotlight on Towson-based Mally Beauty, which is one of QVC's top five beauty vendors.

Founder and makeup artist Mally Roncal recently appeared on the shop-from-home network to tell the story behind her line of beauty of products, including a mascara made from an Italian formula, Japanese pigments and a French lash comb, the Times writes.
According to the New York Times, Roncal surged ahead in the beauty business after creating Beyonce's look for her performance at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Mally Beauty has sold seven million units in the U.S.  since premiering on QVC eight years ago, the Times writes. 
Read the full story here.

USA Today video highlights Baltimore refugees planting urban gardens

Some Baltimore refugees have managed to recreate some of their beloved memories from home through urban gardening, according to a video posted by USA Today.
One refugee from South Sudan, Joyce Kedan, explains through a translator “when I come here and grow things, I feel very happy and positive, and I think of home.”

In order to farm, Kedan turned to Baltimore nonprofit New Roots, which provides refugees with their own plot of fertile soil and uses community garden specialists to help refugees grow rural and exotic crops in urban soil.
See the video here.

Writers Guild names 'The Wire' one of the best-written shows of all time

The Writers Guild of America has named “The Wire” one of the 101 best-written shows of all time.

The critically acclaimed HBO drama broke the top 10, coming in at No. 9. The show ranked above classics like “The West Wing,” “I Love Lucy,” and “Friends.” Critics consistently praised the show for its engaging portrayal of urban life in Baltimore during its five-year run.

Another Baltimore-set show made the list. “Homicide: Life on the Streets” was ranked at No. 46 on the list in a tie with the 1980’s drama  “St. Elsewhere.” “Homicide” won the Television Critics Association Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Drama for three consecutive years during its run. The show ran for seven seasons on NBC in the 1990s.

The top three shows are “The Twlight Zone,” “Seinfeld,” and, at No. 1, “The Sopranos.” Check out the rest of the list here at E! Online.

Baltimore Pride festival to feature mass wedding

The Baltimore Pride festival will host a mass same-sex wedding with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake presiding over the ceremony, writes the AP in a story that ran in the Washington Post. The June 16 event will take place in Druid Hill Park.

The mayor has officiated other same-sex marriages since gay marriage became legal Jan. 1. Event planners and marketers in the wedding industry said last year that legalizing gay marriage would boost business



New York Times profiles Centerstage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah

The New York Times chats with Centerstage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah just before his new play begins its run at the Mount Vernon theater. 

Over a meal at an Afghan restaurant in Mount Vernon (gee, could it be the Helmand?), Kwei-Armah talks about "Beneatha's Place." Written by Kwei-Armah, the play is part of the theater company's so-called "Raisin Cycle," which included productions of Kwei-Armah's "Beneatha's Place" and Bruce Norris's "Clybourne Park." 

Both "Clybourne Park" and Kwei-Armah's plays are contemporary reactions to Lorraine Hansberry's seminal 1959 work, "A Raisin in the Sun."

"Clybourne" is currently running at Centerstage now through June 16 while "Beneatha's Place" runs May 8-June 16. 

"Mr. Kwei-Armah has put his reputation on the line with an ambitious new work that, although it doesn’t take on “Clybourne” directly, will invite inevitable comparisons," the Times writes. 

Kwei-Armah also says in the interview that Norris's play, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011, unwittingly gives the message that " 'whites build and blacks destroy.'"

Read the entire story here. And see Kwei-Armah's interview with BmoreMedia

New York Times features a tour of Jewish Baltimore

"I grew up on stories about the glory days of Jewish Baltimore, when, in my father’s telling, Jews were really Jews," writes Jennifer Moses in the New York Times. 

Moses says Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, in both the city and the suburbs. She points to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Attman's Deli and Eutaw Place Synagogue. 

"Happily, Jewish Baltimore is on the rebound, and not just in the suburbs. On a cold day in February when I went in search of the settings of my father’s stories, I landed in a place where perseverance, preservation and memory have conspired to keep that vanished world available," Moses writes. 

You can read the entire story here

USA Today highlights Reginald F. Lewis Museum's Harriet Tubman exhibit

Museums and tourism officials are honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, 100 years after her death. 

USA Today features some of these homages, including a contemporary art exhibit "Homage to Harriet" at Baltimore's Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture. It starts March 23 and runs through June 23.

The USA Today also features three other Maryland honors to Harriet Tubman. Earlier this month, officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, just south of Cambridge. 

"The same day, the state designated a 125-mile driving tour, dubbed the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, that cuts through her home turf on Maryland's Eastern Shore," USA Today writes.

Maryland also passed a bill to establish the 5,700-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park on  Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Centerstage to produce plays inspired by the Civil War

Baltimore's Centerstage is one of four performing arts organizations that are producing several theatrical works commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, writes the New York Times

The National Civil War Project partners the theater troupes with the arts department of an academic institution. In the case of Centerstage, the Mount Vernon theater is teaming up with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The duo has commissioned “At War With Ourselves,” by the Kronos Quartet that promises to feature a "legendary composer."

Theaters and universities in Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C., are also taking part. 

Michigan professor teaches a class on 'The Wire'

Who knew McNulty and Omar had so much to teach us.

University of Michigan professor David Harding is using storylines from "The Wire" to teach his students about public policy, USA Today writes. The HBO crime drama is set in Baltimore. 

Titled "Urban Public Policy Through the Lens of HBO's The Wire," the class connects storylines in the HBO with real-life city challenges, such as housing, labor, health care, substance abuse and urban decay.

"It's a growing trend across the nation -- take some piece of pop culture, tie it to an academic subject and hope it grabs students' attention more than a standard academic class," USA Today writes. 

You can read the entire story here

Oscar-winning 'Searching for Sugarman' writer lived in Baltimore

If you were watching the Oscars Feb. 24, you know that "Searching for Sugarman" won Craig Strydom the Oscar for best documentary.

If you were searching for the movie's writer Craig Strydom, look no further than Charm City, the Baltimore Sun writes. Strydom lived in Baltimore for 13 years and worked for marketing firm IMRE.  

The movie tells the story of a music fan searching for the enigmatic 1970s singer Sixto Rodriguez whose music was used in South Africa's struggle against apartheid.

SNL spoofs Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is known for getting teary-eyed after a winning game and doing his famous squirrel dance. 

His antics have caught the attention of Saturday Night Live actors who lampooned Lewis in the Jan. 26 show, eight days before the Ravens square off against the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl. 

In the skit, "Lewis" says if his team wins the Super Bowl, he'll kneel down and "ascend into heaven." And then Thompson does the squirrel dance.

You can see the video here

Meanwhile, Chris Tucker and other Hollywood actors attempted their own version of the dance. 

Forbes reviews Baltimore's Digital Harbor Tech Center

The South Baltimore Recreation Center has officially reopened as a neigborhood technology center, thanks to the efforts of the Riverside community and Digital Harbor High School supporters.

Forbes takes a look at the new venue, where Balitmore City school students can learn about web design, mobile app development and digital media production. 

"The center’s grand opening was a packed house, where excited participants got to show equally excited visitors the fruits of some of their early work, providing a taste of what’s to come from the space," the magazine writes. "Shelly Blake-Plock, the executive co-director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, delivered such an impassioned welcome speech that you could almost see where all this excitement was coming from."

You can read the rest of the story here

Ray Lewis boosts Baltimore Ravens brand by $125M

What a year for Ray Lewis to retire. In his last year as No. 52, the Baltimore Ravens' linebacker is squaring off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Just how valuable has Lewis been to the Ravens?

Forbes estimates that Lewis helped boost the value of the Ravens franchise by as much as $125 million during his 17 years of play by helping to make the brand more appealing. 

"The historic brand appeal of the franchise has helped keep the Ravens franchise value among the NFL’s top third," Forbes writes. 

Baltimore's Same-Sex Wedding Website Featured in USA Today

The day after Maryland voters approved same-sex marriage, Baltimore's tourism bureau launched its website that helps gay couples who are planning a wedding.

"Celebrate your wedding day in Baltimore!" Visit Baltimore's site says. 

And USA Today took note of the quick response.

"Visit Baltimore is helping with venues, lodging, group rates and vendor suggestions," the paper writes. "It also has the fine print on how to wed there."

Same-sex couples can wed in Maryland starting Jan. 1. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Jewish Leaders Hold Convention in Baltimore

The Jewish Federations of North America is holding its 2012 convention in Baltimore this week for the first time in 30 years, writes WBAL TV in a story that was picked up by MSNBC.com.

The meeting takes place Nov. 11-13, bringing thousands of Jews who represent 155 Jewish federations and 300 networks that "raise and distribute more than $1 billion each year for social welfare and education," the story says. 

The annual convention is a once a year chance for Jewish leaders to get together and talk about the positives and the challenges, Bruce Sholk, a past chairman of the Associated, tells WBAL.

You can read the rest of the story here

Walters Art Exhibit Gets a Plug in the New York Times

The Walters Art Museum's latest exhibit, which explores the depiction of Africans in Renaissance art, gets a writeup in the New York Times.

"Visually the exhibition is a gift, with marvelous things by artists familiar and revered — Dürer, Rubens, Veronese — along with images most of us never knew existed," the Times writes. "Together they map a history of art, politics and race that scholars have begun to pay attention to."

"Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe" runs through Jan. 21 and features paintings, drawings, sculptures and printed books depicting black Africans in Europe from the 1400s to the 1600s. Africans living in or visiting Europe at this time included artists, aristocrats, saints, slaves and diplomats.

You can read the entire Times' review here

CNN Covers Maryland's Gay Marriage Debate

Maryland voters will decide Nov. 6 whether the Free State will allow gay marriage and are now divided on the issue

CNN.com highlighted the debate in Maryland, as well as in Maine and Washington, which are also putting the issue before voters on Election Day. 

"From her Baltimore kitchen, Rebecca Murphy is lobbying legislators, crafting signs and making phone calls as she wages a battle to allow gays and lesbians to marry in her state," CNN.com writes. "As national polls show a shift in attitudes about same-sex marriage, Murphy's state of Maryland is one of three poised to put the issue to an up-or-down popular vote for the first time next month."

Currently, six states allow same-sex marriage and five allow civil unions for same-sex couples. 

You can read the entire story here

Centerstage Asks Playwrights to Reflect on America

Centerstage has asked some of the nation's most prominent playwrights to create short films to answer the question "What is My America."

Neil LaBute, Baltimore-born Anna Deavere Smith and Lynn Nottage are some of the writers involved in the 50 films directed by 90s indie director Hal Hartley, Broadway World writes.

"From foreclosure to gay marriage, from the judiciary to the little-known circumstances surrounding the death of James A. Garfield, these monologues, with a wry mix of humor and heart, shine a light on our particular American moment—and tug at the seams of political rhetoric as only theater can," Broadway World writes. 

Centerstage, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is releasing the videos weekly up until the Nov. 6 presidential election. You can read the entire story here

Morgan State Professor Creates Machiavellian Personality Test

Employing the famous maxim of 15th-century diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli, "the end justifies the means," may serve real estate and other professionals well. 

Thanks according to the studies of Morgan State University Associate Professor Abdul Aziz, who developed a personality test to determine Machiavellian tendencies, the Wall Street Journal writes. 

"A Machiavellian person, Prof. Aziz explains, is emotionally detached, prone to deceive and believes that the end justifies the means, even if it is not morally right," says the Journal. "Real-estate agents who exhibited more Machiavellian traits tended to see higher sales, meaning Machiavellian behavior and performance were found to be highly correlated," the paper writes. 

You can read the rest of the story here

Ray Rice Endorses New Sports Drink

Baltimore Ravens' Running Back Ray Rice is getting pumped about a new sports drink. 

Rice is one of five athletes that is investing in sports drink BodyArmor, launched last year by FUZE Beverage creator Lance Collins, Forbes writes. 

"'I first tried BodyArmor in training camp,'” Rice tells Forbes. “'I had been drinking other stuff, and the one thing I loved about BodyArmor was that it keeps me hydrated.'" 

"Through this partnership, the athletes will engage in events, promotions, product testing and campaigns both regionally and nationally," Forbes writes. "Additionally, there will be opportunities to support their own charities, such as The Ray Rice Charitable Fund, which helps aid youths in the Baltimore, Md., and New Rochelle, N.Y., areas."

You can read the entire story here

Strand Theater Gets a Writeup in the Washington Post

The reviews are in and, according to the Washington Post, Rain Pryor has boosted the profile of the Strand Theater Co.

"The person who just took over leadership of the Strand might ring a bell, though. Rain Pryor, Richard’s 43-year-old daughter, is now running the ship," the Post writes.

"And while Pryor is candid about volunteering “to pimp my name” to get the shoestring troupe a little more visibility, her theater bona fides are strong. Pryor is currently enjoying off-Broadway success with her solo show “Fried Chicken and Latkes,” an autobiographical monologue with jazz music featuring Pryor’s takes on her famous father, her Jewish mother, showbiz and more."

Pryor has been living in Baltimore since 2006, the Post writes. The New York Times also recently featured Pryor.

Founded by Jayme Kilburn, the Strand is located in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District and operates on a shoestring budget of $30,000. 

Charm City Singer Shines on "The Voice"

A Baltimore vocalist has caught the attention of Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera and other stars of NBC's "The Voice."

Nelson Emokpae, who goes by the band and stage name Nelly’s Echo, was a hit on last week’s episode, according to a recap in the Baltimore Sun. Nigerian born Emokpae fled to Baltimore 16 years ago after his father was wrongfully imprisoned but has since been reunited with the family in Charm City.

Levine and Aguilera both vied for Emokpae to join their teams after hearing the singer’s rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, but Emokpae ended up choosing team Aguilera.

Read more here.

BloombergBusinessweek Features Baltimore's Solution to Food Deserts

BloombergBusinessweek recognizes the expansion of Baltimarket, a virtual grocery shopping solution for the one out of five Baltimore residents who live in food deserts.
Baltimarket originally took food orders in public libraries when it opened in March 2010 but now targets the 16 public housing developments located in food deserts, especially senior centers, BloombergBusinessweek says.

The project allows residents with low incomes and no vehicles, to order groceries, including healthy meal options, without paying a hefty taxi fee to travel to grocery stores across the city.
Read more here.

New York Times Interviews Strand Theater's Rain Pryor

The New York Times recently interviewed actress and comedienne Rain Pryor, who has many ties to Charm City.

The 43-year-old daughter of Richard Pryor, she became artistic director of the Strand Theater Co. and moved to Baltimore several years ago.

You can read more of the interview with Pryor and Kelly Carlin, daughter of George Carlin, here

Maryland Ranks No. 7 For Growth in Women-Owned Firms

Maryland isn't a bad place to start a business if you're a woman, according to a study commissioned by American Express OPEN.

The report puts Maryland No. 7 on its list of states that had the most growth in the number of women-owned firms and their  economic clout between 1997 and 2012. Maryland didn't fare as well as our neighbor Washington, D.C., which came in at No. 1. Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona and North Dakota rounded out the top five. 

In a similar ranking for cities, the report put Baltimore No. 4, after Washington, D.C., San Antonio and Houston.

The study relies on data from the U.S. Census. You can see the entire report here

The Wire, The Musical?

Ten years after HBO first aired The Wire, Funnyordie.com brings us The Wire: The Musical. This musical parody turns the gritty show about inner-city Baltimore into a laugh-inducing musical.  

The voice over boasts, “Experience The Wire’s realistic portrayal of America’s decaying inner cities through the magic of song.”
The Wire: The Musical brings back many actors from the series including Michael Kenneth Williams, Sonja Sohn, Andre Royo, Larry Gillard Jr. and Felicia “Snoop” Pearson. The video has gone viral with more than 400,000 views.

Baltimore Ranks No. 2 for Marriage-Minded Gays and Lesbians

Lesbian and gay singles living in Baltimore need look no further than their own home city to find their mate.
Baltimore ranked second in a poll conducted by Chemistry.com of cities with the most lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender singles looking for marriage and kids, beating out cities better known for their LGBT populations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Richmond, Va. tops the list in first place. Los Angeles, Rochester, N.Y., and Harford, Conn., round out the top five.

You can see the rest of the list here

Huffington Post Features Station North's Open Walls

Open Walls, the innovative mural art project in Station North, is getting more love. 

This time it's from the Huffington Post, which recently featured several photos of the murals and interviews with organizers, including street artist Gaia.

"From March to May the neighborhoods of Station North and Greenmount West have played host to internationally known Street Art names of the moment like Vhils, Sten and Lex, Swoon, Jaz, MOMO, and Interesni Kazki getting up on walls alongside a list of local and regional talents," the Huffington Post writes. 

Station North is Washington's New "It Girl"

Baltimore is catching onto the fact that the Station North Arts and Entertainment District is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. We at Bmore Media documented a number of favorable developments in this article by Cassie Paton.

Now the Washington Post has even caught onto the charms of the neighborhood that features the Charles Theatre and the Windup Space. The paper even went as far as dubbing Station North an "it" neighborhood.

It cites Open Walls Baltimore, a mural project led by artist Gaia, as the element that is making the neighborhood a real scene for emerging artists and hipsters.

"Charm City is an especially fertile ground for street art, considering its multitude of abandoned buildings, its quirky character, and its generally permissive attitude toward street art, which some cities treat as destruction of property," the Post writes.

You can read the story and the accompanying slideshow here.

New York Times Shines Spotlight on Baltimore Documentary

The Boys of Baraka, a movie about inner-city kids in Baltimore sent to a boarding school in Kenya, played at the Maryland Film Festival seven years ago.

It once again is in the spotlight, however, as the filmmakers are featured in a New York Times story on the creative tension between documentary film partners.

""Disagreements are an inherent, and productive, part of their working relationship," Grady tells the Times. “You’ve got creativity, money and ego involved.”

The two will feature their work again at the Maryland Film Festival this year with their movie Detropia

UMBC President Among Time's 100 Most Influential

US President Barack Obama? Check. That British crooner who swept the Grammy awards this year. Check.

Not surprising finds on Time's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. 

There's one that Baltimoreans can be proud of. Freeman A Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, made the list that even Mark Zuckerberg was left out of. 

"But perhaps the most envied science program in the country is at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County," Time writes. "That's where Freeman A. Hrabowski III, 61, has spent 20 years as president turning a humble commuter school into one of the nation's leading sources of African Americans who get Ph.D.s in science and engineering." 

You can read more about him here.  

Magazine Names Constellation Energy Group a Top Corporate Citizen

Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group Inc. has nabbed a spot on a list of 100 socially responsible US companies. 

Corporate Responsibility Magazine placed in the No. 51 on its ranking. The magazine says it chose companies that take steps to address the environment, human rights, philanthropy and diversity. Read more about its methodology

Starbucks Corp., 3M Co., Walt Disney Co. and Darden Restaurants Inc. also made the cut. 

Chicago's Exelon Corp. recently acquired Constellation in a $7.9 billion deal. 

New York Times: David Simon Allergic to "Cheap Sentimentality"

Sure, you might own every episode on DVD. But if you ever meet David Simon, don't go waxing poetic about "the Wire."

That's according the New York Times ArtsBeat blog. Writer Jeremy Egner explains:

"Before Mr. Simon went Hollywood, creating the endlessly exalted “Wire” and the current HBO series “Treme,” he was a longtime crime reporter for The Baltimore Sun, and he often evinces that breed’s hard-bitten outlook and allergy to cheap sentimentality."

Simon also tells the Times that he wrote the series for the city of Baltimore. You can read the Q&A with David Simon here.

Broadway World Previews Pumpkin Theatre Performance

Broadway World has previewed an upcoming play at Pumpkin Theatre titled "Clever Rachel." The play by Towson children's theater company's is based on a children's book by Debby Waldman. 

"Rachel is smart, maybe the smartest child in the entire village, and she loves to solve riddle," Broadway World writes. "But Jacob, the smartest boy in the boys school, shows up to challenge Rachel. Will they fight each other and become enemies or find a way to work together to make their village a better place?"

The play debuts March 24.

You can read the rest of the preview here

D.C. History Museum to Feature Maryland Artifacts

Construction began this month on the nation's largest museum devoted to African American history. 

And the $500 million Smithsonian museum will feature a number of Maryland artifacts, writes the Baltimore Sun. This includes a Harriet Tubman's silk shawl and a long house built by freed slaves from Montgomery County. 

"These are among 20,000 objects collected by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open on the National Mall in 2015 as the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum," the Sun writes.

"Local experts on African-American history say it's appropriate that Maryland will be featured prominently, since many key figures come from the state."

You can read more about the museum here

Diddy Signs Baltimore Rapper

It is really just Diddy now? P Diddy? Sean Puffy Combs? Sean Diddy Combs?

For Baltimore rapper Los, it's ka-ching!

Diddy's Bad Boy Records has signed up Baltimore rapper Los, writes MTV News in its RapFix blog. 

"We're trying to put that young, youthful energy out in the air and do it the only way that Bad Boy can do it," Diddy tells MTV. 

Baltimore Photographer is Good

What makes photography good enough for Good? 

It seems that Baltimore librarian knows the answer. His pics of Baltimore's streets and architecture are highlighted in the magazine. 

"Joust's photographs are united by a cinematic sense of style. A librarian by day, Joust traverses the city and surrounding counties at night, playing with long exposures and teasing out rich tones from the landscape," the magazine writes. 

Here's a link to Joust's blog where you can see more of his photos and notes on Baltimore. 

Daily Beast Names Baltimore One of the Most Tolerant Cities

Baltimore may have had its share of challenges when it comes to race relations.

But Charm City has come a long way and is now more progressive than its counterparts throughout the nation, according to the Daily Beast. The website ranked Baltimore No. 5 in its list of 20 most tolerant cities. Miami, San Francisco, Honolulu and Durham, N.C. ranked above Baltimore.

The Daily Beast looked at the number of hate crimes, same-sex couples and the percentage of African Americans and Asian residents. You can read more about Baltimore's status here.

University of Baltimore Law Graduate Now Best-Selling Author

Darcie Chan is a 37-year-old attorney who has sold 400,000 copies of her self-published book "The Mill River Recluse," writes the Wall Street Journal.

And Chan got her law degree from the University of Baltimore. Numerous literary agents and publishers rejected the book before Chan decided to publish it herself, she tells the newspaper. You can read more about Chan's literary success here. (Registration is required).

Baltimore-Set Film to Screen at Sundance

Rapper Common is starring in a new movie that is set in Baltimore.

"LUV" is one of the 110 feature-length films that will screen at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 19-29.

It tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who learns the truth about his uncle on the streets of Baltimore, the Wall Street Journal writes. You can see a complete list of films here.

Occupy Baltimore: City Wants Scaled-back Presence

This article from Bloomberg Businessweek highlighted events in Baltimore's "Occupy" movement, and the community encampment near the Inner Harbor. The article quotes the mayor's office and Occupy Baltimore participants. Read the entire post here.

Baltimorean to Leave Libya Soon, Mother Says

South Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke is set to leave Libya in a couple of weeks, his mother told the Baltimore Sun after the death of Libya's former leader last week. The 32-year-old who was jailed in Libya for nearly six months and then stayed on to join the rebels seeking to overthrow dictator Moammar Gadhafi — plans to come home "in a couple of weeks," said his mother, Sharon VanDyke. Read the entire post here.

Morgan State University Teams With Local Watermen On Innovative Program

In a program believed to be the first of its kind, Morgan State University has teamed with the Calvert County Watermen's Association to help watermen make the transition to aquaculture.

From the source:

A historically black college and Maryland’s designated “Public Urban University,” 140-year-old Morgan State’s campus is in Baltimore, where about 6,000 students are enrolled. The university offers graduate and postgraduate degrees and has programs in architecture, engineering and education, and other liberal arts programs.

And since 2004, Morgan State has run a marine research facility that is working with the Calvert County Watermen’s Association to provide equipment and training to help the watermen make the transition to oyster aquaculturists while preserving the culture and heritage of the profession.

“I believe we’re the first historically black college with this kind of facility,” said Kelton Clark, director of the Morgan State University Estuarine Research Center.

Read the whole story here.

"Great Migration" Exhibit Coming to Baltimore

A new exhibit chronicling the "Great Migration" of African Americans from the South to the North will make a stop in Baltimore's Penn Station following a stint in DC.

From the source:

Amtrak is opening a new exhibit at Washington's Union Station to recount the history of the "Great Migration" of Southern blacks moving to the North early in the 20th century.

Between 1915 and 1970, about 6 million African Americans moved from the South to the North. Many left behind rural farm lives for job opportunities in industrialized cities. Many made the journey by passenger or freight train, which provided the connection for Amtrak.

Read the full story here.

Celebrate Black History Month with Annapolis tour

Annapolis has more to offer than its rich maritime history. According to the Washington Post Maryland's capitol city is also replete with history about African-Americans during the Colonial era.

Here's an excerpt:

"Annapolis, with its narrow, cobbled streets overlooking the water, its cute boutiques and taverns, and its historic state Capitol and impressive U.S. Naval Academy, provides for a great Washington escape, even in the bleakness of winter. But during Black History Month, Annapolis also provides a great African American history lesson.

On a two-hour guided walking tour of the town, you'll learn what it was like to be black in Annapolis in the 1750s. Slaves were often sold in the back of Reynolds Tavern or Middleton Tavern, two bars that exist today. Slaves bought fresh produce at the market by the water. They had to attend St. Anne's Church (which still stands) with their owners and had to sit in the back."

Read the full article here.

Rawlings-Blake makes The Grio's top 100 list

In office less than two weeks, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has made "The Grio's" list of 100 history makers in the making. Other notables on the list include, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts , musician Will.i.am, Newark,N.J. Mayor Cory Booker,
Quincy Jones and newsman Lester Holt.

Here's an excerpt:

"Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's installation as mayor of Baltimore on February 4 will be the latest in a series of political accomplishments for the 39-year-old lawyer. "She is a leader that we need right now," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) told voters in a video clip announcing his support for Rawlings-Blake last year.

"We are at a very difficult crossroads in Baltimore's history. Baltimore is changing... We need a leader who can truly lead... I support her because she is experienced and she is prepared for the moment," Said Cummings

Indeed, Rawlings-Blake has spent a lifetime preparing to lead Baltimore, a city of approximately 640,000. Her climb to the mayor's seat started at age 7 when she knocked on doors to help her father, the late Maryland legislator Howard "Pete" Rawlings, campaign for office."

Read the entire article here.

Young refugees play soccer in safety thanks to Baltimore tournament

Award-winning blogger Mike Hitchen reports on a Baltimore-based soccer tournament, sponsored by the International Rescue Committee, that is allowing kids who have escaped conflict-ravaged countries to play soccer free from danger. Hitchen reports that plans are underway to create a permanent refugee soccer league -- a Peace League -- in Baltimore.

An excerpt from the blog post reads:

A soccer tournament is underway on a field next to a busy street in Baltimore, an hour or so outside of Washington, DC. Four teams of teenage boys are competing for ribbons and a gold cup. They could be from anywhere, but these teens are all refugees from conflict zones - Iraqis, Burmese, Bhutanese, and Meskhetian Turks.

Marwan Saleh plays defense for the Iraqi team, the "Tigers." The 17-year-old left his homeland nine months ago. "There, there's war. We don't have a chance to play soccer," he explains. "It's my chance to play soccer. We cannot live there. We don't have jobs. We cannot study; we cannot do anything. There's war, there's shooting, there are guns, gangs, the army, fighting between people. Here's better for us - safe. We can study. We can do anything here. Here is the future."

Read the entire post here:

Charm City's African Americans keep it real culturally

A member of the online forum This Alley Life! visits Baltimore for the first time in more than 15 years and comments on the amiableness of the city's African Americans and their dedication to preserving and celebrating Black history.


Despite the recent news that Baltimore is one of the most dangerous cities to live, and that many violent events have happened here...I have to say that the Black population in Baltimore is STILL friendlier than that of other densely populated Black urban areas that I've visited (Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington, DC Area). Even when I visited in the early 90s, people always spoke...they smiled and said hello (it's seems like a more common occurrence in Baltimore). I don't even get that in my city.

Even though Baltimore has some rough areas, it's one of the few places where there is visible recognition of Black history (little noted notables) - the slavery museum, the murals, etc. The distinct cultural beat that has pretty much disappeared from the area I grew up in, mostly Black, is still visible in Baltimore.

Read the complete posting and reader comments here.

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