• OSI-Baltimore’s Talking About Race Series

    To see listings for upcoming Talking About Race events, go here. OSI-Baltimore has been presenting this free, public series since 2009 as a way of sparking conversations about how race intersects with our lives. They generally attract crowds of about 250 people. Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America March […]

  • DNA, Race and Public Safety

    On February 26 the Supreme Court will hear arguments to determine the constitutionality of Maryland’s DNA collection law. The DNA Collection Act (2009) allows law enforcement to obtain and analyze genetic information from individuals without a search warrant who have not been convicted of any crime and have merely been arrested. Strongly supported by the […]

  • Baltimore, BGF and “Deadly Symbiosis”

    The young man handed me a piece of notebook paper, fragile at the creases where it had been folded and unfold many times. Kept in a pocket, taken out often to be reviewed and studied, it was a handwritten bibliography of works he was required to read as a new member of the Black Guerrilla […]

  • Death, Life Without Parole & Legislating Extreme Punishment

    Maryland lawmakers have a real chance this legislative session to vote to abolish the state’s death penalty. This makes it an opportune time to examine the growing body of research and reflection on America’s increasing use of sentences of “life without parole”(LWOP) and their relationship to the broad national trend toward capital punishment abolition. Nowhere […]

  • Condemnation of Blackness: Crime, Numbers and Baltimore

    December always brings an accounting. In the last month of the calendar year we sum our various categories of crime and we look for meaning in the numbers. We look to have the numbers speak for themselves. Policymakers, journalists, advocates, and law enforcement will point to the numbers to make their various arguments for what […]

  • Talking about race in the classroom

    We lack a basic racial literacy in this country that would give us each a knowledge base to have intelligent and productive conversations with each other about race. We are not practiced in learning from one another across racial lines, or asking each other intelligent and well-informed questions about each others’ race-related experiences.

  • Challenging the black/white dichotomy in Baltimore race talk

    As an Indian-American woman who finds it important to regularly talk about the impact of race in our daily lives, Baltimore City fits me well. Yet, in a city where race pervades all discussions about improving Baltimore, when will Asian and Latino voices be welcomed into the fold? When provided space, our voices are relegated to “special forums,” perpetuating the foreignness of Asian and Latino experiences.

  • Knowing the full face of our history

    If you’re like me, you were taught that slavery ended with Emancipation Proclamation. Then Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and the Civil Rights Movement began.

    It wasn’t until adulthood when I realized that I had only a vague understanding of a large part of our history, and that what I was taught regarding slavery in this country was only a part of the story.

  • Audacious idea: an overhaul of Black History Month

    In 1926, when Carter G. Woodson first advocated for “Black History Week,” not only were the contributions of African descendants ignored, but American history was deliberately whitewashed (pun intended). Those responsible for writing what we now accept as the popular history of this country whitewashed the contributions of people of color, whitewashed the white-supremacist aspect […]

  • Talking about race

    Editor’s note: At Monday’s Talking About Race event “Can we talk about how race affects our classrooms?” with Beverly Daniel Tatum and David Hornbeck, we received an unprecedented number of questions from the audience. It was clear that audience members wanted to continue the conversation. Towards that end, we’re posting some of those questions here […]