For our Sex and Love issue, I knew that I wanted to write about something that intertwined both subjects — Black maternal health. Even with all the benefits of modern medicine, even in one of the wealthiest countries, the process of bringing a new life into the world is still potentially deadly for Black women. Not only that, but we face a cruel and unforgiving world once we have given birth and raise our babies. Black women are often dismissed by the doctors who are supposed to help them. Black children often face tougher economic conditions than white ones, and are expected to behave as adults way before their brains can even do that.  

“There have been a number of campaigns throughout history that have sought to create a caricature of the Black woman, and that has impacted the way that we are seen, the way that we are treated, the way in which we are listened to and received,” MOMCares founder and CEO Ana Rodney told me for my piece. She founded the organization to provide prenatal and postpartum support for under-supported birthing people in Baltimore. 

Also in our news section, our friends at Baltimore Courtwatch make the case for virtual access to Maryland’s courts. The more eyes on the things being done in our name, the better. 

To get you in the mood for romance, Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson has two treats in this issue. She and photographer Cameron Snell visited Hotel Ulysses, a sleek and stylish new hotel in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood. Henderson also put together a thoughtful gift guide that works whether you are shopping for the love of your life or your BFF. 

Also in this issue, our film critic Dominic Griffin writes about “Medicine for Melancholy,” a Barry Jenkins meditation on romance that pre-dates his Oscar-winnng film “Moonlight.” 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lisa Snowden is Editor-in-Chief and cofounder of Baltimore Beat. Previously, she was an editor at Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore Sun, and The Real News Network. Her work has also appeared in Essence,...