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Lewis Museum to offer special programs for anniversary of Freddie Gray death, unrest

The Lewis Museum plans programs to mark the anniversary of Freddie Gray's death and the unrest that followed.

Here's a chance to make your voice heard.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the protests and riots sparked by the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a series of programs focusing on community perspectives is planned at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture

"We are social change agents," Charles Bethea, the museum's chief curator, said in a news release. "Our programming aims to provide a space and place for people to analyze, cultivate and share their personal response during this poignant time in our city's history."

Gray died April 19 from a severe spinal cord injury that he suffered while in police custody. After several days of peaceful protests, violence erupted between demonstrators and police in late April and the city was placed under a curfew. Trials for the six officers charged in Gray's death will resume in May.

"We wanted to provide [young people] a platform to share their perspective and be heard, which is something we saw missing during last year's unrest," the museum's education director, Roni Jolley, said in the release.

"We offer the museum as another outlet for them to express themselves as they continue to deal with the personal aftermath one year later."

The programming includes:

  • "BMORE Than the Story,"  April 16-Aug. 28: This collaborative exhibit was created by students who attend the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts or who are enrolled in the University of Maryland's graphic design program. The exhibit is aimed at combating negative depictions of young people, and will showcase the experiences of teens living in Baltimore.
  • "All Baltimore Voices: Stories About & Beyond the Unrest," April 23: Karsonya Wise Whitehead, an assistant professor of communications at Loyola University Maryland, will lead a daylong workshop to collect stories about the uprising from the public. The workshop will be followed by a panel discussion and storytelling performance.
  • "Question Bridge: Black Males," April 28-Sept. 30: This video installation features black men across America answering such provocative questions as, "Why are black men who date outside their race considered traitors?" and "What is your greatest fear?"

"Question Bridge" was organized by artists Hank Willis Thomas, Chris Johnson, Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The 1,500 videos have been edited to appear as though the subjects were having real-time conversations, and will be broadcast simultaneously on several screens.

The Reginald Lewis Museum is located at 830 E. Pratt St. Regular museum admission of $6-$8 will be charged for all programs. For tickets, call 443-263-1875 or go to lewismuseum.org.


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