[Guest Blog] Insight On The Plans To Rebuild Baltimore Landmark, Lexington Market [Written By Keem Griffey]

Image Source: The Baltimore Sun

When the average civilian from Baldimore thinks of the historic Lexington Market, they will most likely think of the smell of raw fish and baked cookies, delicious and inexpensive foods, black culture and the plethora of drug addicts that hang in and around the market. However you perceive it, if you are a true Baldimore civilian, you’ve gone to the market and you love it.
As a native Baltimore civilian, I’ve always loved it because it felt like home. It felt alive. There is always something going on. As a man of color, growing up in a city like Baltimore, to be frank, it was sort of nice to see such a large establishment that housed mostly black or vendors of some kind of color. That added to the home feeling. And on top of that, when I wanted some cheap ass chicken gizzards, I knew where to go. But there has been some ruckus lately surrounding Lexington Market. An article surfaced on “The Baltimore Sun” (http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-lexington-market-plan-20161202-story.html) that has everyone’s panties in a bunch. On initial analysis, rightfully so. The article basically states that the Lexington Market that has been standing since 1782, will soon be demolished and rebuilt across the street. The space that currently occupies the market will be turned into a park/farmers market for locals to buy and sell produce. Currently, there are 100 vendors but in the new space, there is only room for 70. Also, it’s rumored that the opportunities for this market will be given to the more fortunate aka “white people.”
Hmm. When I really ponder on this issue, what I see being felt is the feeling of powerlessness. The feeling of something being taken away. Something you can’t control. But you see, what my journey to self has made me realize is that all the power that I possess comes from within and does not lie in the hands of others. I think this situation at Lexington Market can teach the most powerful lesson than can possibly be taught. That lesson is, we don’t need anyone to dictate or govern our lives. It’s because, for so long we have looked to people outside of ourselves, to do for ourselves, that we are able to be let down and have things taken away from us. Maybe, like Donald Trump being elected, it’s time for us to have the rug pulled from under us, to help us understand we never had control over the rug. Maybe we’ve finally had enough. When I speak about “us”, I mean humans. Period. We want what we want but we’re asking a governing entity who assumes oppression of people is ok, to do it? 1/2 step forward, 3 steps back.
I feel, before transitioning into something greater, there must be a chaotic crumble of the old. In this case, it’s the crumble of the old paradigm of not manifesting from your own heart. Of perceiving yourself as a victim and wanting mercy from an entity that barely shows any. Of not empowering ourselves. Of not taking control over what you actually can. Of not fighting upstream battles. Many things could be done.

  • A business professional could go in and volunteer his or her time to educate the business owners there on marketing and promotion, on how to re-open their own individual stores or another joint operation.
  • Funds could be raised to get the business owners who don’t make it through the cut, a new building so that their beloved customers could still enjoy what they have been able to for years. (What living in Los Angeles has shown me is there is space for EVERYONE’S restaurant)
  • A business savvy nutritionist could come in and help educate the owners on the need for healthier food options because that’s where society is headed; helping to further business.
  • There are opportunities to come together as people and ask, how can we truly assist one another to empower ourselves so that we won’t need anyone or anything to experience true happiness?

Change is good. And change can unfold how we want it to. To me, there is ALWAYS a positive way of seeing any situation. Every “problem” is something to learn and grow from. To reflect and progress from. To manipulate and bring forth the desired result from. It’s happening for a reason. There needs to be a new kind of rebellion. A rebellion that no longer attempts to put out flames with glasses of gas. One that instead, sets a fire to the soul. The soul wants to be heard. The soul is free. Water. Ever flowing. Existing amongst the obstacles but always maneuvering around them. Never bothered by the past nor future, but remaining only in the now moment.
Let’s pray for the ones who don’t seem to be doing this life thing fairly. They know not what they do. And let’s empower those who want to see a better future. We don’t need a governing force to do that. We just need ourselves.