Torn to pieces: the Baltimore Sun and the case of George Scott
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Type of Work11 p.
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SubjectsResearch -- Periodicals.
Humanities -- Research -- Periodicals.
Social sciences -- Research -- Periodicals.
This piece is one of the defining moments of my academic career. Requiring a significant amount of archival research, I endeavored to chronicle a tragedy through the coverage of the Baltimore Sun from the turn of the century. This specific incidence of state-sanctioned murder of a young black man, George Scott, has been forgotten over time, but it is an important and horrific stain in America’s long history of racism and oppression that needed to be revealed. The Baltimore Sun’s demonization and monolithization of George Scott bespeaks a structurally violent American society, a reality that continues to be tightly woven into the fabric of contemporary race relations in Baltimore and beyond. The murder and media coverage of Freddie Gray is the most recent iteration of the brutal reality that has existed for centuries: the dehumanization and negation of black existence at the hands of white supremacy. I hope that Scott’s story provides an anecdotal history of the present.