By Rev. Dorothy Boulware
AFRO Managing Editor

Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire Movement has emerged as a powerful advocate against violence and homicide in our city and beyond; Ceasefire weekends have been a welcome respite from murder and mayhem in Baltimore since August 2017.

Bridgeford will spend part of the November 2019 Ceasefire weekend with AFRO Baltimore Editor Sean Yoes at the Baltimore Book Festival on Nov. 3. Yoes, who also writes the “Race and Politics” column for the newspaper, is author of, Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities. He will interview Bridgeford in front of an audience at the book festival’s Inspire Stage at the World Trade Center’s Observation Level, 401 E. Pratt St., at 2 p.m., discussing the plight of the city as we approach the fifth anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death and subsequent Uprising.

During this Ceasefire Weekend Erricka Bridgeford, co-founder of the Baltimore Ceasefire Movement sits down for a conversation about the plight of our city, with AFRO Baltimore Editor Sean Yoes at the Baltimore Book Festival on Nov. 3. (Courtesy Photos)

“Nobody has done more in Baltimore in the last two years to quell the violence that has plagued us for so long,” Yoes said. “There is nobody I would rather talk to about this than Erricka.”

The Baltimore Ceasefire Movement officially began Aug. 2017 and each Ceasefire weekend– there are four each year: February, May, August and November– has registered a significant decrease in violence during the 72 hour period.

Yoes’ book written in 2018, chronicles the years since the death of Gray, who died while in police custody on April 19, 2015 and the subsequent Uprising, which was sparked the day of his funeral on April 27, 2015.

“…In real life I have survivor’s remorse. And every time somebody is like, `Oh, you’re so great, you’re so good’ I’m great on the backs of all the people that I buried,” Bridgeford told the AFRO two years ago in the midst of the first November 2017 Ceasefire weekend. “I get to be great because I’m burying people and I need to do something with that pain. And I need people to understand that I’m not nothing that you’re not, I’m Baltimore. Nothing is more Baltimore than me,” added Bridgeford, who was named “Marylander of the Year,” by the Baltimore Sun in 2017 for her work with Ceasefire. 

“If you see greatness when you look at me, that’s because I’m just a mirror. So, I need you to understand what you are, you deserve life…you deserve your chance in the sun.”