Baltimore is a great city with a rich culture and a dynamic history. This fact is often forgotten, however, due to its reputation for violence, gang activity, drug trafficking and extreme poverty.
Recent events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray have undoubtedly reinforced this image.
But, if you’ve ever been to Baltimore, you know it’s much more than what’s depicted in “The Wire” or shown on the news. It’s a proud city with many traditions and a resilient population. In spite of all it’s been through, there is great hope in Baltimore and an inspiring level of unity among the people.
While media coverage on Monday night may have primarily depicted people destroying the city, there have also been many people fighting to defend their beloved home.
Here are 16 images that show the people of Baltimore defending their city, not destroying it:
Robert Valentine, a Vietnam veteran who served for 30 years, stood up to the rioters on Monday night.
Im not black, white, yellow, or red. Im an American. Robert Valentine, Vietnam Vet standing up to protests#Baltimorepic.twitter.com/KIhlZ7RwSQ — Mary Friona-Celani (@maryfriona) April 28, 2015
A young boy took the time to hand out water to police.
Baltimore Thanks @darinatwater pic.twitter.com/RxlcRR3Ca1 — ledisi (@ledisi) April 28, 2015
Jason Butler, obviously a proud Orioles fan, woke up early to clean up in the aftermath of the riots.
This is Jason Butler. He showed up this morning to clean up a devastated neighborhood #BaltimoreRiots pic.twitter.com/A6jFFDLphZ — Megan Pringle (@MeganWBAL) April 28, 2015
Rival gang members declared a truce for the sake of peace.
Bloods, Crips, and Nation of Islam coming together. Beautiful. #FreddieGray pic.twitter.com/WRmfBTZV8A — PantheR (@____PantheR) April 25, 2015
A mother dragged her son away from the rioting. Tough love.
This is what happens when your Mom sees you on TV destroying ur city in #BaltimoreRiots http://t.co/mc7gukJXeG #Pray pic.twitter.com/OiavmwNwO1 — Fanchon Stinger (@FanchonStinger) April 28, 2015
Volunteers came together to clean up debris from a CVS that burned down during the riots.
Dozens of volunteers removing debris from the burnt out CVS in Baltimore. Even bigger crew than this morning. pic.twitter.com/Q3kHqu5PVu — justin jouvenal (@jjouvenal) April 28, 2015
Students volunteered their time to clean up the city's streets.
Students and community unite to clean the street near new NAACP office in #FreddieGray's#Baltimore neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/nuZMRaqNMZ — NAACP (@NAACP) April 28, 2015
Community and solidarity have survived in the midst of pain and struggle.
Community. #BaltimoreUprising pic.twitter.com/ex6zjgTPBf — deray mckesson (@deray) April 28, 2015
Medics have taken to the streets in case people need their help.
And the street medics are here. #BaltimoreUprising pic.twitter.com/B0M69CepxS — deray mckesson (@deray) April 28, 2015
This man bravely stood between rioters and police, shouting, "Don't give them a reason!"
Leadership. A Baltimore man tries to defuse conflict between police and protesters. To cooler heads. http://t.co/m2uOr6GRCr — franklangfitt (@franklangfitt) April 28, 2015
Baltimore's people are already rebuilding; they refuse to give up hope.
When you feel there is no hope look to people like Daniel who aren't giving up on this city #Baltimore pic.twitter.com/xKJEaGxmwe — KnightfromABC2 (@Knightfromabc2) April 28, 2015
Instead of rioting, these people chose to dance. Who doesn't like a little Michael Jackson?
PEACEFUL MICHAEL JACKSON DANCE PARTY HAS ERUPTED IN #BALTIMORE. #FreddieGray pic.twitter.com/zuCSGcKiCX — Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) April 27, 2015
This man took it a step further...
@Dimitri_Reeves pic.twitter.com/XGt3TR8QaY was killing it — fυ¢к υя ¢ιту (@LarryGotNoBirds) April 28, 2015
And if Michael Jackson's not your thing, how about some James Brown?
Singing James Brown's "Unity" outside burned CVS #Baltimore pic.twitter.com/OLz7UV2G1X — daveweigel (@daveweigel) April 28, 2015
Even though they weren't responsible for the mess, ordinary citizens came together on Tuesday to clean up their hometown.
Here is what the media isn’t showing you. Volunteers cleaning up the streets of #Baltimore this morning. #Community pic.twitter.com/muvJlhBI5t — Sons & Brothers (@sonsandbros) April 28, 2015
Baltimore refuses to give up, and it will survive this.
This is community. Baltimore. #BaltimoreUprising https://t.co/LHg71tE8aL — deray mckesson (@deray) April 28, 2015