Showing posts from November, 2010
This was once the corner store across from Fort Worthington Elementary School East Baltimore

circa 1957
I loved arithmetic so much that when the teacher announced it in the 4th grade I hollered out "Yippee!" Call me the king of nerds. My classmates helped me understand that it was inappropriate expression in the context of their ideas of classroom decorum. Mrs. Miller was our teacher, and she thought it was rather cute of me to express my enthusiasm for math class. She was a stern woman, and I only remember her as being tall and beautiful, a dark brown-skinned woman with a stately demeanor. She was a little mean, too. Many a knuckle got cracked with that wooden ruler she kept ready on her desk.
Mrs. Miller was taken away unexpectedly, murdered by a man. I don't remember if it was her husband or boyfriend. I've always thought it was her boyfriend. Maybe so.
With the exception of Mrs. Tang, a longterm substitute, all of our teachers were black. I remember Mrs. Tang…
by Afaa Michael Weaver The Wire/Urban Decay and American Television edited by Tiffany Potter and C.W. Marshall is the first published collection of critical essays on the HBO program “The Wire.” The book includes an essay of mine entitled “Baltimore Before the Wire.” What follows here is my response to the project at Harvard University.In The Wire Collington Square Park is used to portray Marlo, an ambitious young drug dealer, in meetings with his guards and assassins. They stand on a knoll where Johns Hopkins hospital stands in the background. I know the park as the one adjacent to the school where my son and two youngest siblings attended the Head Start program in the seventies. As a poet who did his literary apprenticeship as a Baltimore factory worker, my life has taken me across the spectrum of the city covered in this television series that has garnered the attention of Ha…