Out of the Blocks
The 2016 season finale episode of Out of the Blocks takes a twist, as we travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood. The sounds of city traffic give way to the natural harmony of cicadas, birds, and frogs on this tree-lined residential block, nestled up against the city’s Stony Run Trail. The stories here are a study of families in all their varieties: families with same-sex parents, interracial parents, single parents, and adoptive parents, as well as empty-nesters, divorcees, and newlyweds. The twist? For the Out of the Blocks producers, this episode is personal. Wendel Patrick used to live here, and Aaron Henkin lives here now.
In 2001, as the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Black United Front brought a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and the police department for racial bias, a white officer in Cincinnati shot an unarmed black teenager as he fled police. And then, along came a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found a pattern of discriminatory practices by the department and an agreement for changes that took months to hammer out. The process of instituting those changes has lasted years. Some would say it’s ongoing.