The Metropole November Round Up

As we close out November with stuffed bellies and eyes toward impending December holidays, The Metropole’s editors would be remiss not to draw attention to one of the blog’s strongest months since its founding in 2017. With a new UHA board, filled with recent arrivals, readying to assume responsibilities in January, we profiled four incoming […]

Read More

Activist Businesses and Baltimore’s Overlooked History of Social Movements

By Joshua Clark Davis Baltimore is not a city nationally known for its social movements. Urban historians have written extensively about the Black Power movement in Oakland, the labor movement in Detroit, Communists in Harlem, civil rights in Atlanta, radical feminists in Washington, D.C., and the LGBTQ movement in San Francisco. But aside from Rhonda […]

Read More

Segregated by Design: “Free Choice” and Baltimore Public Housing

By Sara Patenaude On the morning of August 20, 1995 a crowd gathered in the streets of downtown Baltimore. Thirty thousand people formed an eight-block-long parade and party, complete with band performances and vendors selling commemorative t-shirts and souvenirs. At noon, a hush fell over the crowd, after which the countdown began. As the chant […]

Read More

“Slum Clearance A la Mode”: The Battle for Baltimore’s Tyson Street

By Emily Lieb  The story of twentieth-century Baltimore is the story of an expressway. Actually, it’s the story of the idea of an expressway, because most of the highways planned for Baltimore were never built. But the cat’s cradle of lines they made on planners’ maps changed the city all the same. They came close […]

Read More

The Drug War in Baltimore: The Failure of the “Kingpin” Strategy in Charm City

By Will Cooley How did Baltimore earn the unfortunate nickname “Bulletmore”? Though many factors converged to produce high homicide rates, observers frequently overlook the law enforcement strategy of destabilizing drug trafficking organizations. In the United States as well as Central and South America, policymakers have directed agents to decapitate the “kingpins” of narcotics businesses through […]

Read More

The Brotherhood of Liberty and Baltimore’s Place in the Black Freedom Struggle

By Dennis Patrick Halpin  On June 2, 1885, Reverend Harvey Johnson called five of his fellow clergymen and close confidants —Ananias Brown, William Moncure Alexander, Patrick Henry Alexander, John Calvin Allen, and W. Charles Lawson—to his Baltimore home. During the previous year, Johnson had orchestrated challenges to public transportation segregation and Maryland’s prohibition on black […]

Read More

Race in Baltimore

By Matt Crenson  In April, 2015, Freddie Gray died of a spinal cord injury while in the custody of Baltimore police officers. His was one more name on a national roster of unarmed black men who died that year at the hands of the police.  On the day of Gray’s funeral, rioting broke out.  Buildings […]

Read More

Mobs, Monuments, and Charm: A Baltimore Bibliography

Despite being one of the nation’s oldest cities, some might argue Baltimore crested in the popular mind during the early twenty-first century. Musically, Animal Collective, Dan Deacon and Beach House emerged to rave reviews. Tori Amos and Sisqo also hail from Charm City, as Complex magazine noted: “‘Caught A Lite Sneeze’ and ‘The Thong Song’ […]

Read More