Devin Allen’s New Photography Book About the 2015 Uprising Comes Out on June 13

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“Untitled,” by Devin Allen

Two years ago, Baltimore photographer Devin Allen became an internationally known name for his raw images capturing the spring 2015 uprising. His newest upcoming book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” chronicles those fateful days that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.

The hardcover book contains nearly 100 black-and-white photos, with his TIME magazine cover standing front and center on the cover.

Here’s a snippet from the book description from Chicago-based publisher Haymarket Books:

Each photo reveals the personality, beauty and spirit of Baltimore and those who live there, as his camera complicates the stereotype of a ‘ghetto.’ We find smiles where one might least expect them, hope doing battle against a system that sows desperation and fear, and above all, resistance, to the unrelenting pressures of racism in twenty-first-century America.

Allen rose to stardom for his dedication to capturing Baltimore during one of its most trying times. After celebrities picked up and shared his work on social media, he was profiled on outlets ranging from NPR and MTV to CNN, NBC, the BBC and, recently, Buzzfeed.

Allen notably capitalized on his newfound celebrity by giving back, donating his iconic photos to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, giving art talks around the city and starting a photography education program at Penn North Kids Safe Zone.

“A Beautiful Ghetto” also contains a foreword from hometown journalist and University of Baltimore writing professor D. Watkins, known for his work with Salon and his books “The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir” and “The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America.”

The book is 128 pages in total. It’s available for pre-order now for $16 on Amazon.

Ethan McLeod
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  1. Can we please not refer to the Freddie Gray riots as an “uprising”? An actual uprising is the Prague Spring or Iran’s Green Revolution. Uprising here gives an undeserved patina of respectability and logic to a childish, self defeating tantrum. The tantrum, in turn, was in reaction to a triggering event that a jury and an impartial judge both deemed not even worthy of a trial.

  2. I agree. “Uprising” is a ridiculous point of view. The appropriate word is “riot”. Where’s the outrage in the ghetto over 344 homicides in 2015 and 318 homicides in 2016? That narrative probably doesn’t make good picture books.

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