Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A documentary spotlighting one of Baltimore’s most active civil rights leaders gets a one-time showing Thursday.
Gigi Barnett explains why countless others may never have a chance to see it.
“He was the Martin Luther King of Maryland.”
The independently-produced documentary– shown for the first time at the University of Maryland Medical School Thursday– charts the path of one of Baltimore’s prominent civil rights leaders.
During the early ’60s and ’70s, Baltimore was called “Up South,” and Walter Carter set the movement on fire.
Carter headed the Baltimore arm of the Congress for Racial Equality, also called CORE.
The 20-minute movie shows how he organized freedom rides on Route 40, staged sit-ins at restaurants and led non-violent protests to open up city parks to blacks– parks like Gwynn Oak, where dogs were allowed and blacks were banned.
John Anglim is one of the film’s producers. His team spent countless hours scouring old video and pictures and talking with Carter’s colleagues.
“He was a giant. He was very soft-spoken, very intellectual and everything,” Anglim explained. “But he had this energy that he was not going to let anything stop him.”
“I always wanted to go out and protest with him,” Baltimore Delegate Jill Carter said.
Carter is the civil right’s leader’s daughter. Her father died when she was seven.
“I remember when he died, was confused because I didn’t know who’s going to liberate Baltimore now,” she said.
Much of the material in the film is already copyrighted. Without big-dollar sponsors, this may be the first and last showing of the movie.
“I’d love for students to be able to have access to it,” Del. Jill Carter said. “Especially the students in the Walter P. Carter School. So maybe they can do more showings at more forums such as this.”
The filmmakers got the idea to produce a documentary about Walter Carter because his name graces the mental health hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Carter died in 1971. His name is still very prominent in the city. A school, daycare center and college library are all named in his honor.