On April 25, Writers in Baltimore Schools held a write-in for its members to respond to the death of Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising five years later. All this week, the Beat is running the poems, essays, and reflections that came out of the write-in…

5 years later reflecting on Curtis Mayfield and Freddie Gray

“Everybody’s misused him

Ripped him up and abused him

Freddie’s dead” 

Another Freddie is dead.

5 years ago there was confusion.

Why were there military tanks in the street?

I think black reflecting and knowing that there are boiling points for Baltimore and Frederick Douglass.

People get tired of being tread on. 

“We’re all built up with progress. 

But sometimes I must confess. 

We can deal with rockets and dreams.

But reality

What does it mean?

Ain’t nothing said

‘Cause Freddie’s dead”

In those moments people said that is enough.

Riots and the thoughts of revolution were brewing. While actions of rebellion were happening.

But now people try to forget with their minds caught in the net until another Fred is dead.

“Why can’t we brothers?

Protect one another

“No one’s serious

And it makes me furious

Don’t be misled

Just think of Fred.”