February 19, 2018
Baltimore ~ 2000 block, Pennsylvania Avenue
Several things of interest in this photo….first the graffiti “Slappy White - Brotherhood Creed”
Melvin Edward "Slappy" White (September 27, 1921 – November 7, 1995) was an American comedian and actor. He worked with Redd Foxx on the Chitlin' circuit of stand-up comedy during the 1950s and 1960s. He appeared on the television shows Sanford and Son, That's My Mama, Blossom, and Cybill and in the films Mr. Saturday Night and Amazon Women on the Moon.
White was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 27, 1921. His official biography reported that he "ran away to join the circus" as a child. White was born near the old Royal Theatre in Baltimore, where by the age of 10, he used to dance outside for coins and sold candy at the theater. He left Baltimore at the age of 13 because he was in danger of being sent to reform school because of his school absences. White joined a traveling carnival and made a living as a tap dancer with the troupe. He was eventually picked up by police and returned to his family, but could not trade show business for school. He received his nickname from the manager of a local theater where he entered a talent contest with a friend; the manager billed them as "Slap and Happy".
Comedian White was a little too young to have come up through black vaudeville, but he did spend much time in its successor, the chitlin’ circuit.
White wrote and performed a comedy routine called "Brotherhood Creed" using one black and one white glove while reciting his poem about equality between men. White performed the routine many times during the civil rights movement in America, and President John F. Kennedy once gave it a personal commendation. In 1965, White was invited to perform the "Brotherhood Creed" before the Massachusetts State Senate. He was also well known as a comedian who eschewed offensive material in his nightclub act.
The Brotherhood Creed
By Slappy White
If the white man And the black man Would work hand in hand They could make this world A promised land. You got George Washington We've got Booker T. You got congressmen in congress And so have we. Einstein split the atom No ifs, ands, or buts. Look what Dr. Carver did With a little peanut. We will forget about slavery You forget the Indian raids. We quit calling you ofays You quit calling us spades. Together we will wipe poverty and hate And we will conquer outer space. So why don't we just get together And let all men share God's grace.
Second is the No Shoot Zone #62 ~ I was unable to find anything about the #62 but guessing it's the murder number for the city.
Tyree Colion, a Baltimore rapper and anti-violence activist was arrested after spray painting the words, “No Shoot Zone” on a wall behind a store, near where a 13-year-old girl was killed.
Colion says he attempts to mark territories where homicides have occured as “No Shoot Zones” after talking with residents who want the violence to stop.
Colion said in an interview that the arrest won’t deter him from continuing to put up “No-Shoot Zone” spray-paintings.