On April 18, 2015, the city of Baltimore erupted in mass protests in response to the brutal murder of Freddie Gray by police. Devin Allen was there, and his iconic photos of the Baltimore uprising became a viral sensation.
In these stunning photographs, Allen documents the uprising as he strives to capture the life of his city and the people who live there. Each photo reveals the personality, beauty, and spirit of Baltimore and its people, as his camera complicates popular ideas about the "ghetto."
Allen's camera finds hope and beauty doing battle against a system that sows desperation and fear, and above all, resistance, to the unrelenting pressures of racism and poverty in a twenty-first-century American city.
“Devin Allen’s work demonstrates a connection between resistance as a daily activity, a way of life in the ghetto, and resistance as a political act, as played out in the streets last spring. He documents resistance without judgment, without asking the usual questions that outsiders might: Is it justified? Is it effective? Is it legal? Resistance is represented not as a tactic, but as a fundamental aspect of life.”
“Devin Allen could be the Gordon Parks of his generation.”
“Devin Allen's photographs paint a picture not only of the protests themselves but also of the ups and downs of everyday life in Baltimore. The collection reenvisions the meaning of the term “ghetto,” showing vibrancy within a racially divided city.”
—New York Magazine
“Because of Devin Allen’s work, Freddie Gray can and will live forever.”
—D. Watkins, author of The Cook Up
“Reminiscent of the work produced by the late Gordon Parks.”
“Allen's photographs—which capture strength and beauty, as well as disparity and decay—transport viewers through the protests following the death of Freddie Gray and into the streets and lives of the people of West Baltimore where he grew up.”
“The cumulative effect of Allen’s photographs is of a city that’s lively, arresting and — against the odds — undeniably gorgeous.”
“Devin Allen has compiled his poignant and sincere images of the real Baltimoreans who are often mischaracterized or neglected in the city's narrative for his first book. A Beautiful Ghetto captures the essence of the city before, during, and after the Baltimore Uprising.”
—Baltimore City Paper