Lionel Foster Archives
- Baratunde Thurston
The provocative humorist talks about black identity, geekdom, and being a really nice guy
- Old School
As municipalities scale back, private enterprises expand, and government employees are maligned
- Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center
Most Baltimoreans remain unfamiliar with Morgan State’s ambitious arts venue, now a decade old
My sister Naomi was married last month. March 9 is a date she will never forget, but it marked a real milestone for me too. By the time the DJ packed it in, I understood that being a groomsman means women can dress you in colors typically reserved for bab
- Dandy Lion
An army of black dandies storms the Reginald F. Lewis Museum
- We’re All Gay Now
Stylistically speaking, for those 15 minutes or so, the black church might be one of the gayest places in America.
- Reflection Eternal
It shocked me to realize that more often than not, when a black man appeared onscreen, he carried either a gun or some sort of ball.
- The Real Inauguration Speech
Yes, we have a lot of bills, but like a pretty girl who won’t get stuck with the check, we just need to attract people who will pick up the cost.
- Was It Something I Said?
It’s been just weeks since we were last in touch, but so much has happened that it’s hard to know where to begin.
- Roughing It
Last month, I asked the mayor to sleep with me—not just for kicks, mind you, but to show solidarity with Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents.
- Please Don’t End Homelessness
In purely statistical terms, the number of frostbitten limbs sprawled across grated vents tells us better than any bar graph just how healthy our local economy is.
- Nothing Personal, Just Politics
A friend of mine is running for mayor. Observing Baltimore politics from this vantage point has been a rude awakening—not for him, but for me.
Between December 2000 and April 2001, representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division made a series of visits to inspect the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).
- How to Be Politically Active Without Looking Like a Poser and Other Things the Author Learned Over Couscous
Despite being a proud Baltimore native, for as long as I can remember I’ve viewed what many see as a hallmark of this city’s authenticity and charm with disdain.
- Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?
Some lives matter more than others. For a few months, the life of Phylicia Barnes mattered more than most.
- No Man’s Land
Several weeks ago, I was asked to talk to total strangers about a topic that, on a scale of social taboos, probably comes in just under sex and religion.
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Ten years ago, on a warm spring night, I found myself on the wrong end of a gun.
It was all for the love of an eggroll. Fifteen minutes before the attack, I walked into the hole-in-the-wall Chinese carryout closest to my grandmother’s house in East Balt
- Left Behind
Early exposure to fiery sermons and Left Behind movies meant I spent most days fearfully awaiting the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
- Watching and Waiting
At this very moment, some unfathomably large percentage of the world’s population is thinking about what they’ll be doing and whom they’ll be kissing on New Year’s Eve, a holiday that is, unfortunately, largely wasted on me. I don’t drink, I hate large cr
On Jan. 3, 2011, my father—rather, the man I might have picked for the job if I’d had any say in the matter—will go to prison. We don’t select our parents, but we do choose our heroes, so it’s terribly disorienting, like watching part of your moral univer
Though I hate to admit it, since it’s a dead giveaway for an inflated ego, I rather enjoy public speaking.
People are flocking to theaters to see Waiting for Superman, a documentary about the state of American K-through-12 education by director Davis Guggenheim
- We Need to Talk
A few weeks ago, while reading the news, something inside me broke. I bet it’s happened to you too. For years you hear about rapes, murders, incivilities, some seemingly unthinkable act of degradation repeated just one week later with a twist, and you don’t even blink.
A few months ago, I turned 30. Despite the existential angst often attached to that number, it’s shaping up to be a very good year.
Archived Stories by Lionel Foster
View older articles written by Lionel Foster.