Local Barber Gives Back With Free Haircuts

For most, a haircut is simply a way to look and even feel good.

However, local barber Paul Vincent also sees taking a razor to one’s hair as an opportunity to change a life by offering haircuts that cost as much as $50 to those who otherwise may not have been able to afford one.

Vincent, who owns and operates Zone 18 Barbershop in Parkville, recently provided 15 free haircuts to men near the Baltimore War Memorial downtown as a Father’s Day gift, and as a way of helping to boost community morale.

Vincent created a mobile shop for the day, bringing along a generator, tent and barber tools, he worked from noon to about 9 p.m.

“My job is to keep people sharp and all the while helping them to look and feel good,” said Vincent, who also works fulltime at Catholic Charities where he assists senior citizens with various needs.

Vincent says he and another barber wanted to give back to the community, to encourage men of all ages. He says he selected Father’s Day because he wanted the occasion to have added meaning.

Vincent and the other barber had pledged to get others involved so that dozens of underprivileged individuals could obtain free haircuts but were unable to get others involved. Still, the Baltimore native didn’t waiver. He decided to do it on his own.

“I didn’t want to let myself down and I didn’t want to let my grandmother down,” Vincent said. “My grandmother always told me to stand tall even when things seem hard and you don’t think you can complete it. That’s when you tap into your extra you, and your God-given you.”

Single-handedly, Vincent performed 15 free haircuts for men and boys in the area.

“It’s about giving back, and these people may have cousins, brothers, sons or fathers who frequent my shop anyway,” he said.

Vincent’s benevolence was praised by his sister and his father.

“This experience was a full circle moment in many ways. My dad and mom [were] raised up working in ministry and volunteerism, and it was powerful and heartfelt to witness my brother walking out principles that my dad taught us,” Cassandra Vincent said. “This was a vision that Paul shared with me, and his passion and commitment is inspiring. This is one of many things that Paul does to show others that they are remembered and I truly appreciate him.”

She also recalled some touching conversations she had with the men as they waited for her brother to tend to their locks, noting that she, her parents and Paul’s girlfriend, served lunch and spoke with the men.

“Several of them began to open up and share their gratitude, like the length of time it had been since their last haircut and several of them freely began to share some of their stories and journey,” she said.

One, in particular, was especially moving, according to his sister.

“One man shared how thankful he was for the haircut because he was just one day out of prison and he really needed this grooming as he began to look for work and a fresh start,” Cassandra Vincent said.

That was among the stories that moved Vincent’s father, Wallace O. Vincent.

“I am really proud of my son. Paul truly showed his integrity and commitment to people as he put the same effort and professionalism into grooming these men, as he would his paying clients. I took note of that and how Paul put the men being served at peace,” the elder Vincent said. “Out of all the material gifts and things I have received on past Father’s Days, this was hands down the best gift I have ever received as a father. It was absolutely the best gift, I have ever received.”

For his part, Paul Vincent said performing such a deed proved simply pleasurable.

“It was awesome. Cutting hair is my passion,” Paul Vincent said. “I love my job at Catholic Charities— that’s my occupation. But, I’m an artist and cutting hair is my first love, and the barbershop is where I learned about life and it’s where I really wanted to give back.”

Teen Author Shares ‘Real Talk’ In Her Debut Book

— In her debut book, “Real Talk: A Journey to Faith, Hope, and Love,” teen author Shakira Rayann has penned a series of prose, essays, affirmations and poetry about the challenges she faced during her time in middle and high school, including: bullying.

Divided into nine sections, which includes: About Me, Honestly, The Power of Affirmations, Man, He’s Fine and more, Rayann offers guidance, as well as different strategies that helped her survive through her most challenging days.

The topic of bullying and other issues faced by teens has taken center stage in the last few years due to an increase in teen suicides. Much of the attention has been focused on cyberbullying, however, statistics show that about 28 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being bullied at school during the school year, according to the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2013 report. Rayann’s book focuses on her school experiences.

“I wanted to share my stories about challenges I experienced in school. My goal is to encourage other young women, who I call Queens in my book, to open up about tough topics and find solutions that come from an inner place,” said Rayann.

Rayann will participate in the 5th Langston Hughes Book Fair on Sunday, July 22, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore City.

As an early high school graduate, Rayann plans to major in psychology at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.

To learn more about Shakira Rayann and her book, visit: www.shakirarayann.com

Artist Robert Lugo Discusses Walters Museum Collection, History

Roberto Lugo isn’t your ordinary artist.

He’s a young professor of Puerto Rican descent who proudly wears a baseball cap — frontward, backward and to the side — while donning a slick dress jacket and a pair of baggy jeans.

The Philadelphia-based ceramicist who the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore commissioned to create works of art and participate in programming for the reopening of the historic Mount Vernon building, waxed poetic in his artist statement about his attire.

“I got my hat turned backwards because the sun don’t shine here, loose jeans to fit all this baggage that I carry … I am a potter, activist, culture-maker, rapper, poet, and educator,” he said.

His works are eye-catching, and when the museum opens on Saturday, June 16, the pieces are certain to draw a lot of conversation.

Lugo’s works combine the forms and traditions he previously observed in the Walters’ collection with contemporary color and imagery.

The elegant shapes of Sèvres porcelain are echoed in vases that also feature the “Fred Collection,” with figures like Frederick Douglass and Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died in police custody in 2015.

“I think like most artists, you kind of have a fear of being exploited or someone offering you an opportunity just because you’re a person of color,” Lugo said.

“I wanted to be myself and say what was on my mind in an unfiltered way. What was great is that the Walters Museum had a scholar that worked with 19th century decorative art and we were sitting there one night looking at porcelain and it was like an underground hip-hop battle,” he said.

Among the end results were the “Fred Collection,” and the “Seat at the Table,” to honor Sybby Grant, the enslaved but proud cook who served at the very building, 1 West, during the 19th century.

The “Fred” includes Frederick Douglas, Freddie Gray, Fred Sanford and others.

“Fred Sanford of course being Red Foxx because that’s how I knew Foxx, as Fred Sanford all of my life. I was trying to connect where we are today and when this house was built,” Lugo said.

“I didn’t want to participate if I couldn’t talk about Freddie Gray and the part of Baltimore that wouldn’t normally be included. I started to think about people named Fred and the folks that made a significant impact in our culture and those who carry one name and the amount of people who went through slavery and those who never had a chance to make an impact.”

In his homage to Sybby Grant, Lugo created a set of plates with a monogram of her initials and visual references to the dishes in which she took pride.

At one time, porcelain was considered more expensive than gold and only the wealthy and those with prestige could own such items, Lugo said.

“But, people like Sybby Grant and the way she existed with grace, allowed me to go to college and to be able to make this work,” he said.

“We are owners of this museum. This is our museum and not just the folks who literally do own it. Because of the work of Sybby Grant and Frederick Douglass and others, I’m now able to make a set of china with the little that I know about Sybby Grant who was proud of her craft in terms of her cooking and I was careful not to contrive anything or to speak on her behalf.

“The china represents her seat at the table and when I say her seat, I mean all of ours because this is a museum for all of us,” Lugo said.

Local Historian to Talk About All African American Unit Part of Maryland National Guard

On Saturday, June 30, 2018, the Friends of Historical Cherry Hill AUMP, Inc., a non-profit 501©3 organization will have it’s President and Local Historian/Author Louis S. Diggs make a presentation on the history of an all-African American unit, which has been part of the Maryland National Guard (MDG) since the 1880s.

Diggs served with this unit when they were the only Maryland National Guard unit ordered to active duty during the Korean War in August 1950. While conduction research for his last three books, Diggs discovered several African Americans from Baltimore County who participated some of the four wars this African American unit of the (MDG) played a part in.

Diggs, whose ancestors were slaves in the Piney Grove area of Baltimore County has written about the history of this unit when they were called “The Monumental City Guards,” “The Separate Company,” “The First Separate Company,” and finally the “231st Transportation Truck Battalion with three Truck Companies. The name of his book is: “Forgotten Road Warriors.”

This free program will be presented at the “Diggs-Johnson Museum,” located at 2426 Offutt Road, Granite, MD 21163 on Saturday, June 30, 2018, from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Because of the extremely limited parking at the museum, parking passes will be required. To request your ticket to the program and/or a parking pass at the Museum, please contact Louis Diggs at louisdiggs2@verizon.net.

Hopefully some veterans of the Korean War from Baltimore County, as well as veterans of the 231st Transportation Truck Battalion will be present at the presentation.

Walters Art Museum 19th Century Mansion Ready for Visitors

Visitors will now have a unique opportunity to explore the Walters Art Museum’s stunning 19th century mansion at 1 West Mount Vernon Place, which opens with a free community celebration on Saturday, June 16.

Attendees will be able to learn of the of the untold stories of enslaved and paid laborers through an enormous collection of exhibits, vases, dishes, books, and other artifacts that adorn the mansion.

The work of talented artist Roberto Lugo is displayed as are those of the Walters collection that are clearly seen in the Greek revival mansion that was constructed as the home of John Hanson Thomas, the great-grandson of the President of the Continental Congress.

“There were probably a half-dozen enslaved people who lived in the house at first,” said Eleanor Hughes, the museum’s deputy director and project curator, as she pointed to a door that once led to the basement kitchen and quarters of the house’s cook, Sybby Grant.

“The focus is to tell the stories of the people who lived and worked here,” Hughes said.

Perhaps some of the most inspiring exhibits are those that depict the life of Sybby Grant, who cooked for the Thomas family.

On display is a letter to Dr. Thomas while he was imprisoned during the American Civil War. The letter is displayed in the dining area of the house where Lugo’s “Seat at the Table” exhibit pays homage to Grant.

On Dec. 6, 1861, Grant wrote to Dr. Thomas. “My Friend,” is how she addressed her slave master.

In part the letter read, “I miss you very much indeed. I hope the time will soon come when you will be restored to your family again for I will ever hold you as a friend of mine.”

Historians noted that Grant was proud of her superior cooking abilities and noted it in the letter.

“Whenever I cook a good dinner I wish you was here to enjoy it,” she wrote. “Those terrapins I cooked, I done them in style, for you know that no one can do them like I can.”

Artist Robert Lugo said he was moved by Grant’s story and decided to create a set of glazed fine china emblazoned with a black crest designed in her honor.

“This is Sybby Grant’s seat at the table,” Lugo said.

“It was students at the Baltimore School for the Arts who first mentioned Grant’s name to us,” Hughes said. “The students learned of this letter from Baltimore Heritage, which is a historical preservation group who included Grant’s story in a tour they conducted,” she said. Hughes said museum officials quickly moved to obtain the letter, which they tracked to a book dealer in Philadelphia. The museum then began documenting Grant’s life.

The museum’s collection spans more than seven millennia, from 5,000 BCE to the 21st century, and encompasses 36,000 objects from around the world, museum officials said.

Visitors will encounter a stunning panorama of thousands of years of art, from romantic 19th-century images of French gardens to mesmerizing Ethiopian icons, richly illuminated Qur’ans and Gospel books, ancient roman sarcophagi, and serene images of the Buddha.

The history of the house is just as intriguing.

“The Thomas family built 1 West; the family of Francis Mankin Jencks lived here the longest; and in the 1960s and 1970s, Harry Gladding brought the house back to life,” Hughes said, noting that the information is also available through a new app that museum has created to give visitors an interactive experience. The house was also known as the Hackerman House after Baltimore philanthropist Willard Hackerman bought it and donated it to the City of Baltimore

The app reveals that the Jencks family had five children, two of who were born at home in the northeast bedroom on the second floor. Several paid servants also lived in the house on the third floor and in an apartment above the Carriage House.

During the Civil War, Maryland played a key role as a border state between the North and South and slavery was legal in the state, dividing the population between those who supported the Union and those who were on the side of the Confederacy.

Dr. John Hanson Thomas was a representative in the Maryland Legislature and voted for secession of the Confederate states from the United States, while his wife wrote letters that revealed her political activities. She collected donations and clothing for both imprisoned Confederate soldiers and civilians and helped raise money to build a tomb for General Robert E. Lee.

The public is invited to visit the 1 Mount Vernon Place, restored to it’s former glory and interact with the exhibits in a un-museum like fashion. Admission is free.

Award-Winning Photographer Donates Arabber Series to RFL

— Over 100 photographic prints from award-winning photographer Roland Freeman were donated to The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Lewis Museum) for its permanent collection.

The images are from Freeman’s decades-long documentation of a disappearing tradition in Baltimore. The series of photographers were published in his 1989 book, “The Arabbers of Baltimore,” and displayed in a subsequent exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The term “arabbers” refers to people, mostly African American men, who sell foodstuffs from horse-drawn wagons throughout the streets of Baltimore. Currently, the Lewis is experiencing tremendous success with its exhibition, “Baltimore’s Arabbers: Calls From a City Street,” which gives a small look into this unique part of Baltimore culture.

“[I am] overjoyed that Mr. Freeman decided to make the Lewis the permanent home for his Arabber Series. The Lewis Museum is the authentic voice in Maryland for African American art, history and culture and this donation to our permanent collection further solidifies that fact,” said Wanda Draper, executive director of the Lewis Museum. The Lewis is a collecting institution. We

encourage people to house their significant art and historical pieces with us. Our staff works hard every day to make sure that our exhibits reflect the African American journey in Maryland and we can only do that through your donations.”

“Baltimore’s Arabbers: Calls From a City Street” is on view at the Lewis

Museum through Sunday, June 10, 2018.

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

There is an old African proverb that says, “What you seek, you will surely find.” We live in a world where the news cycle continues to decrease because of innovations in communications technology. Yes, we are living in the fast-paced digital age. The high velocity delivery and transmission of news and information, however, may or may not produce authentic or accurate facts or simply the truth.

Yet, for more than 47 million black Americans the reality of life’s multiple challenges and opportunities are not the primary concerns and focus of what is popularly known as “mainstream media.” Thus, the value and mission of the Black Press of America today is more strategically important than ever before, for black Americans and others who embrace the trend-setting cultural, academic, technological and game-changing achievements that are accomplished daily in black America.

This is why the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is pleased with the continued partnership between the General Motor’s Chevrolet Division and the NNPA to sponsor the 2018 Discover the Unexpected (DTU) Journalism Scholarship and Fellowship Program.

We are identifying and mentoring the next generation of young, gifted, talented and committed journalists and publishers who will rise to take their rightful place as our future community leaders and business owners.

Seeking out the best of black America not only in the field of journalism, but also in the overall context of the long-protracted struggle for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment is of the utmost importance. This summer in Georgia, Virginia, New York and in Washington, D.C., six NNPA journalism scholars selected from Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation will have the opportunity to work in black-owned newspapers.

These outstanding NNPA DTU Fellows will also journey together to highlight and file news’ reports about real life stories that are occurring in our communities. In the current national media climate where allegations of “fake news” are routinely propagated, we will welcome receipt of the news and inspirations from the writings, videos and social media postings of our young aspiring journalists.

We are also grateful to the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) for assisting Chevrolet and the NNPA to notify and reach HBCU students attending the 120 HBCUs about the DTU fellowship opportunities. In fact, over 23,000 online responses were received from students who were interested in the DTU program.

Reviewing and evaluating the numerous applications that were submitted, revealed the tremendous academic achievements and commitments of HBCU students who fervently desire to serve the empowerment interests of black communities via their respective journalism skills and talents. This is itself a good news story.

Too often, we only learn or hear about the tragic injustices and systematic racial discriminations that are in fact facets of the realities that are all too prevalent in black America. We need, however, more balance and truth telling in the media when it comes to the struggles and plight as well as the resilience and transformation of black America.

For more than 191 years, since the first publication of Freedom Journal in March 1827, the Black Press of America has continued to be on the frontlines reporting our triumphs, defeats and our successful resistance to oppression, injustice and inequality.

Each generation has a responsibility to help prepare the next generation to take the baton of history and to run to win by breaking and setting new records of achievement and excellence of all fields of endeavor.

Again, we publicly thank General Motors – Chevrolet for enabling the NNPA to award this group of young freedom-fighting scholars to sharpen their pens and commitments to become champions of the freedom and responsibilities of the press.

The black community will benefit. All of America will benefit. The DTU Fellows will seek and they will find. They will also exemplify the good news.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached at dr.bchavis@nnpa.org.

Northeastern Ohio Youth Group Tours Baltimore Area

Teen group formed to counteract youth issues while promoting cultural pride and academics

As a child born in the 1990s, Malcom Deluvon Burton of Akron, Ohio, has experienced the excitement and the benefits of the Information Technological Age.

Conversely, he has witnessed another side of the new millennium generation, where young men who look like him are seemingly regarded as Public Enemy No. 1. Young men like Trayvon Martin, and closer to home, shooting victims like 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland and in Cincinnati, rap producer Samuel DuBose, were also fatally shot by law enforcement officials.

Even before the aforementioned fatal events occurred, Burton says he felt a need to forge a certain unity and bond amongst his peers. As a high school junior, Burton founded My Brother/My Sister (MBMS) ironically during Black History Month in 2008.

“I was 16 at Copley High School in Copley Twp. (Akron, Ohio), and being a black American male, I felt like my high school peers needed to be introduced to culture and community love,” he said.

He felt it was also a way to “nullify self-hate while promoting a more natural bond between the genders. Hence, the sisterhood-brotherhood organization was born.

“While our Civil Rights history— Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are valuable background, our young people also need to know other stories,” he said.

Recently, Burton’s group traveled by bus from Northeast Ohio to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. As a 2014 graduate of Morgan State University, Burton wanted to expose the young people from his hometown to significant historical sites such as Baltimore’s Great Blacks In Wax Museum; and the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in the District of Columbia.

In it’s ten-year history, MBMS, has grown to about 100 members, mainly of middle- and high-school ages. The group is open to all cultures but the primary goal is to sustain cultural love and pride among black youths,” according to Burton.

MBMS has two chapters that meet weekly— one in Akron at Copley High, the other in East Cleveland at East Technical High. Burton says the non-profit group is funded via the Cleveland Indians’ Larry Doby Youth Fund Grant.

Doby was the first black to play American League baseball with the Cleveland Indians in July 1947, three months after Jackie Robinson broke the color line with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Burton says MBMS is currently awaiting national 501c3 non-profit status.

Older members of the group now serve as mentors and academic tutors for the younger members.

“Our goal is to produce scholars,” said Burton, noting that the organization currently boasts 30 college graduates and several current college attendees.

Burton also has a master’s degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University. Later this year, his first book, “A Safe Place To Call Home: Community Love and Culture,” will be released. He is just 26-years-old.

Burton is proud of his blended African-American and Puerto Rican heritage. He is also proud of having been raised in a two-parent home, and is cognizant of raising his own children in a similar environment “when that day comes,” he said, smiling.

For more information about MBMS, call Malcom D. Burton at 216-526-34

William Henry Dorsey: The 85-Year-Old Horse Whisperer

In observance of Older American’s Month, The Baltimore Times will periodically publish stories about seniors who are not only aging gracefully, but are doing extraordinary things. Every May, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation’s observance of Older American’s Month. The 2018 theme “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes that you are never too old to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.

For more than 50 years, a dapper fellow by the name of William Henry Dorsey has worked with horses.

“I’m a barn manager,” said Dorsey. “Right now, I am taking care of 27 horses. For me, it’s easy because I have been doing it for so long. It’s relaxing and laid back. I feed them hay and make sure they get their shots. It’s a complete upkeep of horses.”

He added, “There’s no one to bother you, and I love being outdoors with nature. Horses really take to me. I believe it’s a God-given connection.”

However, Dorsey isn’t your average “Horse Whisperer.” Dorsey is 85-years-old. He works at Willow Wood, a full service hunter and jumper show barn located in Howard County.

“The other thing I like about horses is that you can talk to them when you can’t talk to people,” said Dorsey with a smile. And you don’t have to worry about them talking back.”

Dorsey talked about his early upbringing.

“I was born in Provident Hospital in 1933 when it was on Division Street,” said the soft-spoken Dorsey. “I went to Carver for auto mechanics, but finished my education in Howard County where I stayed with my grandfather William Powell. He loved working with horses. That’s how I got into it. He was a horse person all his life. He and grandma got married in 1886 and had 22 children.”

Dorsey traced the rich lineage of horsemen in his family back to his great-grandfather. He said the tradition continues.

“My son Charles Dorsey got into it, and so did my grandson Todd,” said Dorsey. “I also rode for a little bit. I was a fill-in jockey. I once won a race with a horse called ‘Country Side Lane.’ But I wasn’t recognized, because it was alleged that the horse had been given performance enhancers. I also won another race.”

He added, “At one time, I owned six horses, which were all given to me. I donated two of the horses to a riding school for disabled kids.”

Dorsey reflected on some of the things he has experienced over the course of his 85 years.

“I have seen a lot,” he said. “I remember I had to get permission from the National Guard to leave out of Baltimore during the riots after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. Baltimore was locked down during that time.”

Dorsey said he has worked for Willow Wood for 18 years. Willow Wood provides services including riding lessons, boarding, showing and USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) rated competitions. Willow Wood is owned by Kim Williams, and has become one of Maryland’s premier show facilities.

“I work with show horses,” he said. “They are beautiful. My day starts at 5:30 am and stops when I want to end it. I am content.”

Dorsey has 15 children, 22 great-grandchildren and 47 grandchildren. He is expecting to add to his ‘herd’ in September with the arrival of another grandchild.

He shared his secret for longevity. “I attribute it to clean living,” he said. “It’s about working, enjoying what you are doing, and seeing past the negative stuff. Every day, I eat a regiment two cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of honey.”

He added, “My legacy is to retire at 90 and do my Bucket List. I would like to lay back and relax. I will be happy to retire.”

Dorsey resides in Howard County with his wife Debbie Dorsey. “It amazes people that William still works,” said Mrs. Dorsey. “He still does a lot of manual work. I would put him up against any young person. He loves it. Anyone who lives in Howard County, who has a horse, knows him and his quality of work. He never says ‘no.’ It keeps him alive and happy. He is as strong as a horse.”

Jubilee Arts Unveils Expressive Exhibit

As the nation paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April, Geneva Johnson vividly recalled what was happening in her Baltimore City neighborhood following the death of the civil rights leader.

“I worked the graveyard shift and was asleep,” recalled the 71-year-old who has lived in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester community all her life. “I found out that Dr. King had been killed when I woke up. The first day was fine, but then the next night, we couldn’t take our normal route home from work because of rioting. A curfew was being enforced by the National Guard, and if you didn’t have a reason to be on the street, they sent you to jail. I remember it just like it was yesterday.”

Ada Pinkston captured Johnson’s experiences of that turbulent time in 1968 through artwork that is part of a unique exhibit. The exhibit is entitled “50 Years Since the Assassination of Martin Luther King: An Anniversary of An Uprising,” and premiered on Friday, April 27, 2018 at Jubilee Arts located at 1947 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Pinkston affectionately referred to Johnson as “Miss G.”

“It was great meeting Miss G. and learning about the past of Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Pinkston. “My piece is a layered artwork installation which includes art and video. Miss G. talked about the jobs she had and I started thinking about the layers of experience she had over the years.”

Pinkston added, “Jubilee Arts is doing a great job of renewing artistic vibrancy in the community.”

Through the pairing of the artists and residents, Jubilee Arts seeks to use an intergenerational exchange of information that compares and contrasts experiences then and now to create unique works of art reflecting personal viewpoints.

The exhibit is the latest from Jubilee Arts, and is a program of Intersection of Change, which uses visual art, jazz, and the stories of community residents to explore these ideas, themes and issues.

Intersection of Change, formerly Newborn Holistic Ministries, is a community based non-profit located in the Sandtown-Winchester and Upton areas of Baltimore City and is dedicated to providing programs that enrich the economic, social and spiritual lives of those dealing with poverty-related issues.

The event featured feature artist talks and live jazz from renowned Baltimore musician Todd Marcus, Executive Director of Intersection of Change. Marcus’ latest CD is entitled On These Streets, A Baltimore Story, and also offers a portrait of the community and includes reflection on the 2015 unrest in the neighborhood.

“For the community and the kids to see something different other than police sirens is good,” said artist Mateo Blu who was paired with storyteller Elder C. W. Harris. “Jubilee Arts also ensured each artist got a stipend for materials, which was great. In my piece, the houses overlap, and the upper part of the painting depicts an abstract flow. That represents the spirit of ancestry and sacrifice that takes place daily.”

Longtime resident Kaleb Tshamba was paired with artist LaToya Peoples.

“LaToya talked to me about the 1968 riots,” said Tshamba. “I believe the piece she created is a masterpiece. She stayed with everything I said about the riots.”

Jubilee’s artist-in-resident and current MICA student Catherine Leberg has been overseeing the project in coordination with staff and volunteers.

“We realized that this is the third anniversary of the riots of 2015 and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 uprising,” said Leberg. “With both falling in April, we felt something like this was needed to acknowledge these two major events coinciding. We partnered people and facilitated conversations between them. The work developed out of their relationships. Many touched on the same themes despite working separately and all created something amazing.”

The other artists and storytellers included: S. Rasheem (artist) and Kibibi Ajanku (storyteller) and Ernest Shaw (artist) who was paired with George ‘Doc’ Manning (storyteller).

“I think a lot of the artists and storytellers have this rich, but painful history,” said Leberg. “The artwork is beautiful, and came out of a painful and complicated past that should never be forgotten. We have all of this amazing talent right here elevating stories of the neighborhood.”

For more information about Jubilee Arts or the exhibit, call 410-728-1199.