The research was about the “Freddie Gray” mural art located in Baltimore City, Maryland. Murals are any piece of art painted or drawn directly on a wall, ceiling, or another permanent surface. They are usually big a hold cultural, religious, and historical significance. I find murals attractive and valuable. It helps to portray the message in the community differently and eloquently. Murals have been around since their evolution started. I think the primary purpose of murals is to paint a picture of society, created from stories, values, dreams, and change.
Today, murals symbolize emancipation, freedom, social activism, and propaganda. Apart from their well-defined meanings, murals have other purposes, such as advertising or utilizing the abandoned and unpleasant walls. I find the “Freddie Gray” mural immensely huge and noticeable. The Baltimore street artist lightened the area by circulating a photo of Gray in a red shirt, around Gray’s lips, creating crinkles around his eyes. The resemblance of the man, Freddie Gray, whose death sparked protests across the city took shape on a wall.
Similarly, the mural was located just feet from where police took Freddie into custody. The mural has three parts to it. In the center portrayal of Freddie Carlos Gray Jr. Similarly, Gray is flanked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other marchers from the Civil Rights Movement on the left side, and an image of the protesters during the Freddie Gray protest on the right side. The artist of the mural, Nether, wanted to relate and compare how the protests in both epochs were united in their mission, creating a power against injustice.
The artist of the mural “Freddie Grey” is Nether. He has been the most prolific street mural artist in the street of Baltimore. Like many muralists in the city, Nether works with the community to encourage and spread awareness through his art. [You should elaborate on this point. What causes does Nether want people to be aware of?] There has, also, been a focus on social justice through street art. Similarly, he is confronted with criticism however, he thinks that a mutual feeling of Bmore Love among Baltimoreans is one of those forces that are so strong that it can get over any hurdle that is thrown in front of it. Nether, a native Baltimorean street artist and mural painter, is driven by social documentarian of the struggles, aspirations, history, and dilemmas that the cities face. The death of Freddie Gray and the ensuing unrest in Baltimore inspired a lot of local artists. But Nether’s work has stood out among others. Nether inspiration for the mural was his personal experience led to this mural. He has been indoctrinated to civil rights since he was children by his parent who were actively engaged in Baltimore urban issues. Similarly, he also mentioned that the mural was a compilation of vigil photographs behind Freddie with Rosa Parks, MLK, Thurgood Marshall, and Coretta Scott King on one side, and on the other side is Freddie’s friends and family who are leading the protests. He wanted to emphasize and reincarnate the protest in the mural. Society has taken the painting as empowering and inspiring. Likewise, he has been approached by critics about his race as a white artist and complained about the American flag.
Baltimore is one of the biggest cities in Maryland state and its economic center. Baltimore city is located in the north-central of Maryland State. Baltimore is Maryland’s largest city and economic center. The city is populated with 614,664 inhabitants. The majority of the population inhabited in Baltimore City are African-American about 62% of the total population. Similarly, 27.5% of the population is white and remains from a different race. According to 2016, the cost of living index in Baltimore was 105.7 which is more than average, the U.S. average is 100. Similarly, the unemployment rate is 7.2% which is high for a big city. The crime rate in Baltimore city is astonishingly high whapping 823.6; whereas the U.S. average crime rate is only 280.5. Baltimore compared to Maryland state average, has a median household income below the state average, unemployed percentage below the state average, renting percentage above the state average, and so on. It is second on the list of the top 101 cities with the highest ratio of murders to rapes. When comparing measures of income, employment, poverty, and so on, the city’s black residents are living in a very different city than their wealthier white neighbors. While comparing the incomes of blacks to the median income of the state overall, shows a $40,000 a year difference in earnings. Despite being less in population, white residents in the city make almost twice compared black residents. The disparity is directly related to jobs. The unemployment rate was an astounding 37% in 2013. That’s compared with 10% for white men of the same age. This trend tends to continue till today. Similarly, unemployment is still much higher in Baltimore than it is nationwide. Nearly 24% of Baltimore’s population is living below the poverty line which compromised most of being black population. I have found the crime rate before the Freddie Gray incident and after the incident in Baltimore City. The riots took place on April 27, 2015, after the death of Freddie Gray. The murder and shooting rates spiked in large difference after the riots and Mosby’s decision to bring flimsy criminal charges against six Baltimore City police officers. Marilyn Mosby criminal charged six officers for doing their job. This sends a message to the police that it is problematic and tricky to serve on duty. After the riot, police were instructed to be less proactive since such policing will disproportionately affect minorities. As a result of fewer police officers, the suspension of one-person patrol units, and poor leadership, there were more violent criminals committing a more violent crimes. Murders, homicides, burglaries, thefts, and shootings increased overnight dramatically in Baltimore city after 27 April 2015.
Murals always show some impact on the community. Artist Nether painted the massive mural in honor of Freddie Gray Jr. The tall wall on the side of a row house at the intersection where Freddie Gray was arrested is filled with a mural to commemorate the young man whose death stirred days of unrest protest in Baltimore. The three-section mural depicts Gray at the center, the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King on the left side, and the scene of the marches in Baltimore protesting police brutality. The art is a reminder of the decades-long battle for civil rights from the 60s that endures till today. The neighbors in the community have expressed support for the mural. It helps build the neighborhood up. Similarly, it encourages to get people back together again, to learn to live among one another. Gray’s family expresses that the picture will be a symbol of freedom and inspiration to the Baltimore city, and Gray will always be remembered. Justin Nethercut, artist of the mural “Freddie Gray” has not only been applauded for his work in the mural but also criticized by the public. Flags in the mural have created controversies. Some critics despised the American flag because only white people would protest with the American flag but not the black community. Similarly, the American flag is conceived as a representation of slavery and colonialism. The American flag is perceived as white power in America. Similarly, some public does not appreciate the artist behind the mural being white. They believe that end of the day, the white population would never be able to fully understand the pain and despair colored people has to go through.