Baltimore, Cognitive (Re)Mapping, and the “Green Zoning” of America’s Downtowns

A very interesting article about the cultural implications of the Baltimore protests.

D.J. Flowe

“The city is…something more than a congeries of individual men and of social conveniences – streets, buildings, electric lights, tramways, and telephones…something more, also, than a mere constellation of institutions and administrative devices…the city is…a state of mind.”

-Robert Park, 1916

Images of young black men and women smashing windows of crowded sports bars and aggressively claiming city spaces in downtown Baltimore’s entertainment green zones can be simultaneously disturbing and inspiring. They invoke in many of us thoughts of ourselves or our loved ones in danger; for some in the media they conjure fears of twenty-first century “race wars” like those scattered across the twentieth century; at minimum they give visual aid to pundits wishing to transfigure protesters into hordes of unruly black criminal and refocus the story on black violence, away from the death of Freddie Gray. As a result there has been a constant volley in the news…

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