“Proof Of Hope”: Former MTV Producer Shows the Positive Sides of Baltimore

“I feel like I’m a nobody … how am I supposed to help?”

These poignant words come from B-doe, a Baltimore resident who spoke following the death of Eric Garner. Little did he know that Baltimore would soon be a battleground in the global fight for Black Resistance. His words are clairvoyant in many ways, and prolific in others.

As Baltimore continues to provoke thought and action from racial justice activists, organizers, and believers, a number of projects seeking to raise visibility on the grassroots situation are coming to light. One such project, “Proof of Hope,” aims to provide a realistic narrative of Baltimore that stands in stark contradiction to the sensationalized 24/7 mega-media bubble.

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“We family.” Gang members show a united front at Penn-North, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Photo: Olivia Obineme, proofofhope.us


Founded by Keith Frankel, a Boston-based tech entrepreneur and creative director, the project allows Baltimore residents to upload photos and stories that highlight the positive elements of the Uprising. Frankel — known for producing hit MTV reality shows and running creative design campaigns at the tech giant HubSpot — thought of the project after flying to Baltimore to help with neighborhood clean up and food assistance, and ultimately discovering how productive its residents were in community empowerment.

“I was shocked with how different everything appeared in comparison to what was being displayed on TV.”

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Baltimore marching bands unite. Photo by Glenford Nunez of Baltimore City, shot on iPhone 6. proofofhope.us


With experience in producing reality television shows, Frankel recognizes how media deliberately splices content to alter narratives and play on the sentimentalities of its viewers. This firsthand knowledge in mind, Frankel collaborated with grassroots community organizers with significant local ties, and launched Proof of Hope.

Hundreds of real-life photos tell a story of hope, resistance, and strength. For more information, follow Keith Frenkel on Twitter at @theKeithF, and visit proofofhope.us. 

*Featured Image Credit: proofofhope.us.

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 12.23.52 PMGet at us @BlkMillennials


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