What kind of Black, Baltimore paper would we be if we didn’t acknowledge House music? On the cover and inside the pages of this issue, you’ll see images of Black people dancing, fellowshipping, and vibing out at Collective Minds, an annual house music festival that organizers say is open to anyone, be they DJs, dancers, performers, or just fans. It was held September 3 at the Pearlstone Conference Center in Reisterstown, Maryland.
In my mind, Baltimore, New Jersey, and Chicago are Black musical cousins — places with distinct sounds and takes on the steady rhythm that drives house and club music — but with a flavor that unites them all as well. This is the 19th year that Collective Minds has taken place.
In addition to the reporting that we do, I want Baltimore Beat to be a cultural record, an account of these things happening. It’s important that people who will be here years after we are all gone know what gave us joy and made us move our bodies.
Speaking of Black folks gathering together, in this issue, our Arts and Culture Editor Teri Henderson got to know more about Diamon Fisher, a Baltimore native who wants to make sure that we have events that are both for us and by us.
“Women like Fisher not only hold up the sky for themselves and their families, but all Black people in their orbit. She is dedicated to uplifting and celebrating Black folks, and she creates spaces for joy, community, education, and resources — and often does so without compensation,” Henderson wrote.
In more somber news, Deputy Editor J. Brian Charles and I tried to find out what, exactly, is at the root of the teacher shortage in Baltimore City and what City Schools officials are doing to fix the problem. The teacher shortage is one that school administrators all over the country are struggling with, but Baltimore’s problems are a little different. Our shortage is more endemic — and, as always, kids suffer the most.
“Right now we are underpaid, we are overworked. Sometimes we do not get a lunch break,” said Valerie Taylor, a member of support staff at ConneXions: A Community Based Arts School, told officials at a meeting of the school board held last week. “And for the new teachers, we are that backbone. If we miss a day, that teacher has a hard way to go.”
Finally, in this issue, we debut tarot card horoscopes from Baltimore-based Iya Osundara Ogunsina. Find out what to look forward to for the month of October.
From Issue 2 (August 24, 2022): “Yesterday’s Prices are not Today’s Prices” misstated the amount of cannabis the state decriminalized. The correct amount is 10 grams.
From Issue 3 (September 7, 2022) news brief, “Another killing highlights how much work needs to be done on youth safety,” Baltimore Beat misidentified Baltimore City Councilperson Robert Stokes. We regret the error.