The Baltimore Ghetto Story
As the city of Baltimore has made national attention for the riots and protest over the death of Freddie Gray, the city has had its share of trouble for over the past generations as the Baltimore ghetto story has never been truly told.
The more known neighborhoods of the Baltimore ghetto are on the West Side, East Baltimore that is north of East Orleans Street, Northwest Baltimore like Park Heights, the Northeast section along Greenmount-York Road and Loch Raven Blvd, and South Baltimore’s Cherry Hill.
With gentrification and rebuilding being common in most cities in the United States, the Baltimore ghetto has a number of older neighborhoods that are no longer around. Old housing projects like the East Side’s Lafayette Court and Flag House or West Baltimore’s Murphy Homes and Lexington Terrace that have been either rebuilt or demolished.
According to Governing.com, gentrification of the Baltimore ghetto has been occurring since the 1990s.
What started in South Baltimore’s Locust Point and other areas near downtown, as well as East Baltimore blocks that are south of Baltimore Street, has now expanded into other sections of the city, with the average home values rising by 30% to 300% in the areas closest to downtown.
Baltimore Black History
One of the oldest black populations in the country has been in Baltimore since the 19th Century, which is important to the story of the Baltimore black history. Many people use to work in the shipyards and originally created a small community that was located in East Baltimore.
As the black population increased, people resided in West Baltimore between North Avenue and Edmondson, while later making Pennsylvania Avenue and Edmondson the heart of black culture in the city, in neighborhoods like Sandtown, the Bottom, and Upton.
Into the 1950s and 60s, the integrating and desegregation of Baltimore’s communities gave the opportunity for African-Americans to be able to move out of their small sections of the East and West sides, along with the Cherry Hill and Turner Station neighborhoods, making Baltimore predominantly black by the 1970s.
Baltimore Local Government Problems
Baltimore Maryland received much popularity with the HBO series “The Wire”, while many residents of Baltimore disagree with “The Wire” and claim most of the show to be false and not an accurate part of the communities of Baltimore. One thing that was correct in the series was the corruption among the police and the local government.
Many locals claim the police presence in the community is at times out of control. For instance, people who get home from work and want to socialize outside with the people of their neighborhood, but aren’t allowed with the police making people leave, claiming their loitering, together with different laws implemented by former Mayors like Shelia Dixon.
In 2010, the Division of Parole and Probation continued its focus on targeting the most violent offenders under supervision in Maryland.
Through the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) DPP is on the ground and in the community proactively assisting local law enforcement, and using all legal tools at its disposal to keep neighborhoods safe – sharing intelligence with criminal justice partners and requesting revocation warrants more effectively over the last three fiscal years.
In 2009, gun laws became stricter by not allowing certain people to post bail due to previous convictions and increased incarceration time. These factors make it harder for people to get a job.
Sheila Dixon who created laws, that made it harder for many residents of Baltimore, was indicted and convicted of crimes herself during her time as mayor of the city, leaving some people to think it’s unfair for her to be convicted of crimes while establishing new and stricter laws in the city.
*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate
Sources and Other Resources and Links.
McDougall, Harold. “Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community”. Temple University Press. 1993.