Synopses & Reviews
Allen asks us to see beyond the the violence and poverty that all too often defines the "ghetto."
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 21st-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.” Washington Post
“Devin Allen could be the Gordon Parks of his generation.” NBC BLK
“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
“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.” Baltimore Magazine
“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
About the Author
Devin Allen was born and raised in West Baltimore. He gained national attention when his photograph of the Baltimore Uprising was published on the cover of Time in May 2015 — only the third time the work of an amateur photographer had been featured. His photographs have also appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Aperture, and in the permanent collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is the founder of Through Their Eyes, a youth photography educational program, and the winner of the 2017 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship.