Yesterday I posted an Instagram photo of a piece of graffiti [Name Withheld] did on the top of a building near Clipper Mill, and I had my first Instagram Fight. The photo I posted was this:
Jim Crow Runs Bmore. Indeed “he” does, but having this idea, and saying so publicly, sparked a discussion about what Jim Crow actually is (the reality experienced by the majority of Baltimore City residents) and is not (no, Jim Crow is not “history”, or an actual person.)
I offer you this, as a visual example of how and why segregation still exists in our city, and leave you to draw your own conclusion. (Many thanks to Mr. Sutton for the suggestion of including the 1930s redlining map as a starting point.)
Pay attention to the red and gold areas in the map above, which was used to indicate undesirable neighborhoods by realtors and mortgage lenders. These neighborhoods were predominately Black neighborhoods, and segregation laws prevented these residents from moving. Redlining, along with its BFF blockbusting, still exists in Baltimore. Different era, perhaps, but the end game is the same — the segregation of housing and poverty to those same “undesirable” neighborhoods, even to present day.
The maps below show years of segregation, lead paint poisoning of children, and blight. Compare these to the red and gold areas in the redlining map above, and perhaps you’ll understand how serious this is.
This is Jim Crow, alive and well in Baltimore City, destroying neighborhoods. This is not okay. This is what we need to change, in order to have a safer, stronger city.