Five years after his photo from the Baltimore Uprising appeared on the front of Time, Baltimore photographer Devin Allen’s work is back on the magazine’s cover, now depicting one of the city’s recent protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
Allen’s new cover photo shows a protester raising a megaphone as other demonstrators lie on a downtown Baltimore street during the Black Trans Lives Matter protest on June 5.
Demonstrators across the country have led protests in response to the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Protesters have also chanted the names of other black people who have recently been killed by police, including Breonna Taylor, a black woman police officers shot and killed while executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment in the middle of the night.
Allen told Time that he wanted to use his photos to amplify the voices of protesters at Baltimore’s demonstration for black transgender people.
“When I found out about the black trans march, I wanted to come out and make sure that their voices can be heard,” Allen says. “I wanted to give them the same energy that I give any protest.”
During the 2015 Baltimore Uprising in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Allen photographed a protester running away from a crowd of police officers wearing face shields and carrying clubs.
That photo landed on the cover with the headline “America, 1968,” a nod to the unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., with “1968” crossed out and “2015.” Below that: “What has changed, what hasn’t.”
Allen has compiled some of his photos of the Baltimore Uprising in a 2017 book titled “A Beautiful Ghetto.”
Allen posted his recent Time cover next to the cover from five years ago on his Instagram account, saying that he remains dedicated to photographing Baltimore City.
“My mission hasn’t change 5 years later, I’m still on the ground doing what I do best! This is my life’s work and I’m just getting started. This is for my city!! my people!!! I am here!!!” Allen wrote.
He also tweeted the cover, saying “For my people.”
Allen’s photo on the new cover is accompanied by the headline “The Overdue Awakening” for a cover story by correspondent Justin Worland.
In the cover story, Worland writes that racial inequity and injustice against black people is deeply rooted in America’s past and pervades the country’s present.
“The U.S. may think it has brushed chattel slavery into the dustbin of history after the Civil War, but the country never did a very good job incinerating its traumatic remains, instead leaving embers that still burn today: an education system that fails black Americans, substandard health care that makes them more vulnerable to death and disease, and an economy that leaves millions without access to a living wage,” Worland writes.
As protests continue nationwide, Allen told Time that people need to sustain that energy to enact substantive changes.
“I need people to stay active. I need everyone to not lose that fire,” he said. “Black Lives Matter is beyond a hashtag.”
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