By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, syoes@afro.com

The torrent of violence and homicides that has gripped Baltimore since the murder of Freddie Gray while in police custody and the subsequent Uprising of April 2015, has garnered national headlines. But, the reality is the city has grappled with disproportionate murder and mayhem and the stigma attached to it for decades.

In August 2017, the Baltimore Ceasefire Movement was born organically as an answer to the violence that has cast a dark spirit over our city.

The Sage of Baltimore. Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire Movement, stars in the mini-documentary, “Sage,” which will have its world premier at the Maryland Film Festival, May 8-12. (Courtesy Photo)

Erricka Bridgeford, a self-proclaimed “West Baltimore girl,” who like so many West Baltimore natives has been directly impacted by the scourge of homicide, has emerged as the co-founder and leader of Baltimore Ceasefire movement, which calls for a cessation of murder in Baltimore for a 72-hour period, four times a year. But, the ultimate goal of Ceasefire is to change the vibration in Baltimore and to disrupt the city’s pervasive culture of violence.

“There are so many negative images of cities like Baltimore,” said Bridgeford the star of “Sage” a mini-documentary, which captures the work of Bridgeford and the Ceasefire crew. The film by Baltimore native Gabe Dinsmoor, is part of a five-film collective of Baltimore movies called “Balti-Shorts” being presented at this year’s Maryland Film Festival, May 8-12.

“So much hopelessness and mythology that says we just sit back and let murder run rampant,” Bridgeford told the AFRO.

“This documentary shows us the truth about our hope-in-action, about our pains, and our determination to nurture our joy.”

 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor