Baltimore, I Love You

It's summertime in the city and I'm returning home this weekend for some family time and to take meetings about BodyMore's  upcoming production later this summer.  

Much of BodyMore is location specific. From its title, derived from a common nickname by locals, to its Station North backdrop to all the sounds, lingo and more yet to come, BodyMore is as much about Carrie Cook as about the city itself. 

Write what you know, they say and writing about my eclectic and haunted hometown of Baltimore, was almost instinctual. How could I not write about Baltimore? After years in graduate school for my MA in International affairs even my final thesis dealt with Baltimore and steps for equity. 

Baltimore is a humid city by the sea, with less inhabitants than Brooklyn proper and where  everyone knows your cousin. Yes that one. 

It's a town where the red light district sits next to police headquarters, where ivies and honeysuckles grow wild in the summer overtaking boarded up homes giving the city a decidedly "man vs. nature" feel.

 It's a place where you can hear the distant sound of a marching band practicing after the cool of summer evenings and where there's a granny who sells candy and snowballs on the the corner in the summer and watches the kids playing "Little Sally Walker" & double dutch.  

It's also a place with jarring racial, economic, reproductive and other health inequalities. Where violence punctuates hazy summer nights and where homelessness is growing and drug addiction maintains a tight grip on the city's inhabitants. 

Despite hardship, Baltimore is resilient because of the creative, eccentricity of its inhabitants. A creativity I (arrogant as it sounds) by virtue of birth, must embody. The City was my first love, my home for 18 years and the place where I learned about life, love, death, destruction and creativity. 

BodyMore will join a number of television and film projects which call Baltimore home. We look forward to joining such an eclectic group of filmmakers and showrunners who have recognized the charm in Charm City. Filmmakers and artists who contine to see the creative potential of a city with a history so deep and rich that the potential for storytelling has only been glimpsed by the world. 

Despite political corruption and corporate grip on the city, Baltimore persists because of the resourcefulness, resilience and grit of its people. In the support section, I highlight organizations doing important grassroot work- many of them are Black women and LGBTQ-led organizations and I hope you will check them out and consider supporting the growth and expansion of this project, and these great orgs that were working before the so-called Baltimore riots (or as we say, Uprising) and have continued to do so after the cameras and reporters left the city. 

I can't wait to get back home this weekend. I'll be reconnecting with friends and family, listening to some club music by my fav, DJ Angelbaby, Abdu Ali and Dancing my Pain Away under the fireworks in the harbor. 

Till next time, 

XOXO, 

SHANNON