A year after the death of Freddie Gray and the Uprising that followed, a group of UMBC students went out into the neighborhoods directly affected by the events of last year to interview residents and examine important social, political, and economic issues. The final product was a powerful and influential radio series that aired on WEAA’s The Marc Steiner Show last month.
The students were part of the spring semester’s American studies course “Radio in American Culture.” As part of the class, students worked with the Center for Emerging Media’s host Marc Steiner and senior producer Stefanie Mavronis ’12, political science and media and communication studies, and American studies associate professor and chair Nicole King to produce the radio segments. The series, titled “The World that Brought us Freddie Gray,” examined the legal system, policing and police-community relations, education, housing, and the current situation that Baltimore faces and solutions.
The course was part of the ongoing Baltimore Traces project, a collaborative teaching initiative bringing together several disciplines to produce media focused directly on Baltimore residents and neighborhoods. In previous years, the project has produced radio segments related to deindustrialization and the Station North and Highlandtown/Greektown neighborhoods.
After “The World that Brought us Freddie Gray” aired, student producers Turrel David ’16, media and communication studies and American studies, and Dalton Maize ’18, media and communication studies and sociology, participated in a roundtable discussion reflecting on their work and the impact of their radio series.
Image: The Creative Alliance at The Patterson, where community events related to Baltimore Traces have been held. Photo by UMBC New Media Studio.