Life at the Intersection | Baltimore

Life at the Intersection

Baltimore, Maryland is my “home away from home.”

For five years, Baltimore was my home. I learned how to be a musician and teacher at Peabody Institute, learned how to live “on my own” with a lot of help from friends and neighbors, and taught in the Baltimore City Public Schools for one delightful year. On Thursday, April 23, I was back in “B’more” to attend an Alumni Reunion, and I stopped by one of my favorite “hangouts”: Ted’s Music Store, on East Centre Street. The present owner greeted me warmly as I looked over the four trombones that were on display. I was pleased that the store, after forty years, was in good and capable hands.

Four days later, in the rage and unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral, Ted’s Music Store was damaged and looted.

My heart sank, and I felt trapped. In the town where I learned about harmony on a host of levels, disharmony reigned for a moment. I then realized when lives are stolen, destruction, violence and stealing property seems to be a reasonable option. Many reasonable people have said we need to have a conversation about race. That is all well and good, but it seems to me that any useful conversation needs to begin with trust. How might we cultivate and build trust in our communities?

Our upcoming ReconcilingWorks Assembly “Until All Are Free,” will be an opportunity to try out the temperaments and tools for building and cultivating trust. I will be facilitating a workshop on “Building the Beloved Community” at this event. Feel free to come, let’s build together – and, see you at the intersections!

Michael L. Cobbler, Board Chair of Committee Working at the Intersection of Oppressions