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The Origin Of The Black Butterfly

In his book, "The Black Butterfly," former community-health professor Lawrence T. Brown cites a century of policies and budgets he says sapped resources from Baltimore’s African American neighborhoods, forcibly uprooted Black families and triggered generations of trauma.

He calls it apartheid, and contends it was planned and deliberately maintained, "Once you understand that--that it was done intentionally, that it wasn’t random, that it isn’t just some order of natural order of things-- it can be undone intentionally.”

He says undoing it will take deep changes like dismantling the Baltimore police department and ending toxic lead poisoning. You cannot make Black Lives Matter, he argues, unless Black neighborhoods do. This interview originally aired on February 15, 2021.

You can hear more from Lawrence Brown on May 4th at a virtual event sponsored by the BTUand the Towson University Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is Senior Supervising Producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.
Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'