Baltimore Survival Guide

By: Kayla Thames

Lately, a lot of people have been migrating to Baltimore City for reasons such as educational advancement, job opportunities, and economic prosperity. However for many people the Baltimore culture and atmosphere can be a culture shock. Baltimore is one the few cities in the United States where the African-American population is the majority. Also with approximately 16,000 vacant homes in the city, many neighborhoods that you think are good can quickly turn bad if you make a wrong turn.

During and after the Freddie Gray case the world got a small glimpse of Baltimore City in a very distraught state. The youth of the city were labeled as thugs not only by the media but also by city representatives. The distrust between community members, police, and elected officials is at an all-time high. As a result of that, and with an increasing crime rate each year, people have to be more cautious.

So, here are some tips on how to hopefully survive and prosper in Baltimore City.

  1. Mind Your Business

Mind your business and you will prosper! It may seem like a simple concept; however, some people still have yet learn how to mind their own business. Minding your business will keep you out of all misunderstanding, conflicts, and beefs. In many cases in Baltimore just minding your business could prevent from possibly being shot or injured.

2. Be Careful Of Who You Hang With

The people that you choose to associate with are like your representatives. So, if they carry a bad reputation, people are going to think the same about you. Along with that the people you choose to hang with can cause you harm from others by association. For example, if you have a friend who sold drugs, one their competitors could potentially harm you as a way to send a message to your friend.

3. Don’t Stare

Do not stare at people! Not only is it rude, but it makes people feel threatened, nervous, and uncomfortable. Not everyone in Baltimore may feel this way; however, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There have been some cases where fights have started over someone staring. If you feel the need to stare at someone just introduce yourself and greet them. One of Baltimore’s core values is respect, and if you give it you will receive it back.

4. Be Aware Of Your Surrounding

You should always be vigilant of your surroundings and careful of where you travel to in Baltimore. Baltimore is a very compact city with bad neighborhoods or “hoods” on the outskirts of what appears to be family friendly neighborhoods. With that being said, you should avoid walking alone at any time of day, because the predators in Baltimore have no shame will attack the weak and vulnerable.

5. Avoid West Baltimore

West Baltimore is infamously known for having the most fatal crimes committed in the area.  That area is also known for having Baltimore’s heaviest flow of drugs.  So, when and if possible always try your best to avoid west Baltimore.

6. Lock Your Doors

Be sure that you always lock your house and car door.  Theft and carjacking are pretty common in Baltimore.  To avoid those it is best that you take precautions.

7. Don’t Talk Shit

As the saying goes “talk shit, get hit.”  Talking shit is when you insult someone behind their back. In the Baltimore culture talking shit will get you involved in a lot of confusion and disputes. So, unless you are a good fighter or enjoy conflict, it is in your best interest to not talk shit.


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