January 12, 2021 Feature

Back to the Future

By Ron Cassie

Kurt Schmoke tore up the speech that had been written for him. It was April of 1988, and just months before, the 38-year-old former City College quarterback and Yale-, Oxford-, and Harvard-educated lawyer had become the first elected Black mayor of Baltimore. The next morning he was scheduled to address a joint gathering of big-city mayors and police chiefs at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. Organizers had asked him to comment on the impact of the War on Drugs on cities and to focus on Baltimore.

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