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Baltimore, Looking for a New Messiah

"Race, and its effect (s) on Americans". Not the subject politicians want to address during a political campaign, but poets, lecturers, artists, willingly do. Today race is front and center: a black President, a Republican/Tea Party (mainly white) opposition in congress; that opposition is tampering with everything to frustrate such a president, and thus angering the majority of his constituents, African Americans. Is it any wonder that that anger has now spilled over to death and violence, as we see in Ferguson, Missouri?

Artist Stephen Towns, and the black woman. "I wish It Were Easy"
Artist Stephen Towns, and the black woman. "I wish It Were Easy"
Oswald S. Copeland
Artist Stephen Towns, interpreting the new hairstyle rules in the US military.
Oswald S. Copeland

Stephen Towns is a young artist who grew up in the South, and came to Baltimore to further his academic education at the Maryland Institute College of Art. This institution, like so many others: Johns Hopkins, University of Baltimore,University of Maryland, are smack in the middle of underprivileged districts. Towns became highly disappointed with the crumbs his neighbors fed on, the squalor African Americans are enduring.

Towns decided to put his political and religious disillusions on canvas. In his words, "Ignoring America's history of oppression has become socially acceptable. It is in itself a practice of oppression that hinders progress for all American compatriots"

Towns is looking for a messiah for Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore, a religious shepherd for the Sandtown neighborhood. Local religious and political leaders ought to have their consciousness shaken on visiting this exhibition at 440 E. Oliver Street, Baltimore 21202.

East Baltimore, like West is filled with boarded up houses, a jailhouse, where Sears once was, and hopelessness for unskilled laborers.

Some of the titles of Town's works: The Juice "Ain't So Sweet," " ...but he's so black" "Are You Being Served?" "The Shepherd of Sandtown". Change that to read, "The Messiah of Baltimore".

“Is what you hear at church religion?...When I look for religion, I must look for something above me, and not something beneath.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin