On this day three years ago, doctors pronounced Freddie Gray dead at University of Maryland Shock Trauma, a week after Baltimore police officers dragged him into a van for a fateful ride leading to his death. Tonight, local poets, writers, musicians and others will honor the 25-year-old whose death at the hands of police set off an uprising.
Rise Bmore, now in its third rendition, bills itself as “a free evening of words and music, of and for Baltimore, in honor of Freddie Gray.” This year’s version, starting at 7 p.m. tonight at Union Baptist Church in Upton, will begin with a discussion titled “Seeking Baltimore” between multimedia artist Malaika Aminata Clements, filmmaker Julian Hamer, musician and writer Brittani McNeill and photographer Shannon Wallace.
After that will come words from Baltimore Club rapper Abdu Ali, Baltimore Ceasefire co-organizer Erricka Bridgeford and renowned poet Tariq Touré, followed by musical performances by an impressive slate. That will include Rise Bmore’s founder, local composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Judah Adashi; soul artist Akua Allrich, singer/emcee Joy Postell, street flugelhornist Japheth Clark, D.C.-based jazz pianist and composer Mark Meadows, singer-songwriter Letitia VanSant and local community choir Voices Rise.
With that lineup of speakers and performers, expect an evening of solemnity, solidarity and celebration of the changes Baltimore has made—or at least sought—since Gray’s 2015 death.
7-9:30 p.m., Union Baptist Church, 1201 Druid Hill Avenue, risebmore.com, free.