5 Uplifting Stories Out Of Baltimore You Didn't See On TV

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images.
At Freddie Gray's funeral on Monday, community leaders asked members of the media to take care to focus on more than just the most negative responses to the grief and anger that followed the death of the 25-year old. Last night produced many scenes of destruction and heavy police crackdowns, but there have been some moments of real beauty, both during last night's upheaval and today's relative quiet.

Even during some of the tensest moments last night, after hours of back and forth between heavily armed police and mostly young protesters, there was time for a Michael Jackson dance party. Not only did kids join together for a group show of joy, one King of Pop impersonator got the whole thing started. 
Organized cleanup operations started early this morning, with activists and local faith leaders offering options for interested members of the community. 
Two young organizers who were heavily involved in Ferguson last summer after police officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown are also working in Baltimore. Johnetta Elzie and DeRay McKesson put together a detailed list of city resources, background reading, information about jail support and protest preparation, and a calendar of the day's activities, including cleanup and planned marches.

It wasn't just grassroots community groups offering help to those in need today; Baltimore libraries opened their doors to students who needed a place to go during school hours, as did city recreational and park facilities. And, local businesses and churches started offering free food to students who needed meals; many students in Baltimore rely on school-subsidized lunches.

More protests are planned for this evening, but it's already clear from events today that the people of Baltimore aren't going to let themselves be defined by reactions to the National Guard and thousands of militarized police in their communities.

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