This is a powerful TEDx Talk about Baltimore’s community – one that you don’t hear a lot about, but you should know their story.
Baltimore is home to so many amazing souls who put in work every day to heal the wounds of their beloved city. It’s a city that has been assaulted by systemic racism for generations upon generations. A city like too many in this country who, like the narrator in this city states, are “handed, through no fault of their own, criminal conditions in which to live and then they get labeled savages for how they live.”
Muslims understand the impact of false monolithic media coverage.
In this video we are introduced to conflict mediator, Erricka Bridgeford, who shows us the spirit of Baltimore and the beauty of collective consciousness in her insightful TEDx Talk.
The Baltimore Ceasefire, organized by Erricka, is a grassroots campaign against gun violence and holds ceasefire weekends four times a year. Their slogan is “Nobody kill anybody,” and in its pursuit to create a safe neighborhood for its community members, a ceasefire finally happened, lasting twelve days without a murder. Not the government, not the police – but its very own community did it working together – a community made up of different races and religions working together.
Muslims understand the impact of false monolithic media coverage. Despite millions of Muslims around the world proving we are not terrorists, but rather assets and responsible citizens of our society, we still have to fight against a false narrative every day. Baltimore faces a similar battle.
As a Muslim Black Woman, my experience in Baltimore has allowed me to explore so many parts of my identity that I have hidden or suppressed in the past.
As a transplant to Baltimore, I am blown away with the strength of community, the endurance of those putting in the work and the sheer determination of the people of Baltimore to tell the nation and the world, “What you not gonna do is snatch my greatness.”
Maya Angelou’s powerful words, “and still we rise…” is so present here in Baltimore. A place with deep history and presence of brutal systemic oppression. And still, the people, the community – still they rise.
I don’t want to turn this into a love letter to Baltimore. But there are a few things I wanted to put out there in the universe. As a Muslim Black Woman, my experience in Baltimore has allowed me to explore so many parts of my identity that I have hidden or suppressed in the past. It has shown me the power of the individual and the collective.
The realness, the positive work being done, the neighborly feel, the urgent work that still needs to be done, the hurt, the pain, the love, the strength, the innovation, the beauty – it’s all here in full force.
I see you Baltimore.