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The Dark Side of Adderall

Integration’s Rocky Road

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City of Ink Page 18

Wall-E Takes the Plunge Page 12

The UNDERGROUND Volume II

April 18, 2010 The Johns Hopkins News-Letter


Take a trip Underground

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elcome to our second edition of The Underground, the official magazine of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter. Our goal is to take you down the road lesstraveled, the one that leads to the depths of the bizarre and eccentric. The city of Baltimore is a character unto itself, with its own eclectic mix of music, culture and history. You might bemoan the strange orange haze on the horizon or the unrelenting summer heat, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find there’s no question that Charm City has earned its name. Its avenues are rich with culture and history, from the strange and hidden home for lost artwork to the streets that house some of Baltimore’s most talented tattoo artists. In this issue, we also explore the ongoing issue of Adderall abuse at Hopkins. A small yet growing problem, rogue Adderall use is evolving into a serious issue on campus, raising the question: is achievement worth the cost? We hope that you will take the time to dig through The Underground with us, to explore the weird and unknown that lie beneath Baltimore’s surface. Who knows, you may like what you find. — Husain Danish and Rebecca Fishbein Magazine Editors

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The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Underground

April 18, 2010

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The Yabba Pot ........................4

This vegan soul food cafe is a hidden treasure on North Charles.

Art Underground .................6

A Hampden gallery owner finds a home for abandoned art.

The Dark Side of Adderall ................8

Use of this prescription stimulant is on the rise, and it can have some nasty side effects.

Marine Robotics Lab ........................ 12 Under Krieger lies a factory manufacturing robotic ocean explorers.

Black History at JHU ......................14 The University’s road to integration and equality was more than rocky.

Baltimore Tattoo Scene ......................18

Local tattoo artists make real masterpieces out of skin and ink.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Underground

April 18, 2010

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Underground Eats

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S A FAITHFUL reader and believer in City Paper’s “Best of Baltimore” annual edition, I have wanted to venture to The Yabba Pot since it won “Best Vegan Restaurant” in 2008. Located between 24th and 25th St. and St. Paul St, The Yabba Pot is in a convenient, but easy-to-miss location. Stuck unassumingly between a thrift store and what seems to be rundown storefront, the one-room vegetarian restaurant would be completely overlooked if it were not for its bright green coat of paint. The interior is just as vibrant as the storefront. The walls are a deep, vivid coral. The tables, mostly seating only two, are decorated with natural settings: ocean scenes, a bright, sunny sky and a rainforest. The Yabba Pot’s façade has signs that read “Vegetarian” and “Juice Bar.” The inside is adorned with comparable messages. One sign (clearly printed from the owner’s home) reads, “Fast food, fast death.” Another says, “Let our food be your medicine.” Make sure you bring a jacket or sweater if you are dining in the winter months, as the restaurant was quite drafty.

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They’re serious about healthy eating. But rather than eating the standard vegan/vegetarian fare you get at One World Café, The Yabba Pot spices things up, literally, through its Caribbean and Island cuisine. The restaurant’s menu is an array of foreign dishes featuring a variety of beans, vegetables, tofu and soy proteins. All are supposedly or originally cooked in a clay pot called a yabba pot. Picking from recipes such as chana masala, queen greens, butternut drummies, coco-curry shrooms and mash sweets is difficult, so luckily all of the foods are out on display. Ordering is somewhat of an ordeal of cafeteria-style pointing and decision-making. Do not expect a full-service restaurant. The most service you get is maybe getting your drink delivered to your table. You choose your meal, pay at the cash register, pick out your own table and get your own silverware and water. This all somehow fits with the laidback atmosphere of the restaurant though. The staff is exceedingly nice and helpful if you are completely lost as to what to choose. They are knowledgeable and explain exactly what is in a four-bean stew

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

Yabba Dabba Do How the Yabba Pot does the Best Vegan food in the City - it’s enough to covert even the biggest meat head By Alexandra Byer

or how the curry is prepared. My dining friends and I ordered the sample platter, which was a little bit of everything on that day’s menu and some rice. This was a perfect way to familiarize myself with the restaurant’s cuisine. The best of all were the mash sweets. A dish of mashed sweet potatoes, made extra-sweet with a combination of brown sugar and a second mysterious ingredient, was definitely a hit. I thoroughly enjoyed the fourbean stew and the chickpea curry. If you are not into spicy foods, taste test carefully as many of the dishes (including the chickpea curry) are quite spicy. Though a few dishes tempted me back for seconds, I found many of the flavors easily blended together so that I was unable

The Underground

to distinguish between them. I honestly cannot tell the difference between the chana masala, queen greens, cabbage stir fry and coco curry shrooms. And the only distinguishing characteristic of the butternut drummies was the hunks of soy protein in the shape of drumsticks. Perhaps this melding of flavors was due in part to the sample platter being squished all on to one plate. The Yabba Pot’s next biggest selling point is its variety of fresh juices. The restaurant offers a range of freshly squeezed juices from orange to carrot. You can even combine juices to make something more exciting. One diner ordered the apple juice, which took about five minutes to prepare (it really was freshly pressed) and came

April 18, 2010

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out in apple’s naturally cloudy form. I, on the other hand, was a bit more adventurous and ordered the ginger tea, which my server recommended. It should have come with a warning label. Drinking this tea was comparable to drinking pureed ginger. The “tea” was so strong

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and spicy that cleared my sinuses completely. I sipped it throughout the dinner but each sip was a shock. I never finished the cup. Bottom line: The Yabba Pot is an interesting experience, to say the least, especially if you have adventurous tastes. n

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Art

Under Ground How one man is giving “orphaned” art a home By PHYLLIS ZHU Photo by WILL SHEPHERDSON

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IRE SCULPTURES FORMING THE OUTLINES OF HANDS AND FACES HANG IN ONE CORNER, and on the far side of the studio are spray-painted LPs depicting the iconic pout of Marilyn Monroe and the one-eyed stare of Mr. Boh. On the floor sits a canvas covered in strips of green and pink wallpaper. The eclectic mixture of works are arranged, as owner Rick Santiago explained, in the salon style, where pieces of different styles are placed side-by-side and cover the wall, as opposed to the streamlined gallery style of only a single row of works, which is seen in contemporary museums.

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The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Underground

April 18, 2010

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Besides being literally, if partially, un- “an experiment with space.” He is proud of derground, the studio also rose from the eccentricity of the space and said that modest roots. The space, only about 150 setting up a studio in such an unconvensquare feet, was offered to Santiago by a tional manner reflects a kind of artistic friend and was originally intended to be flexibility, in terms of creating a place for used for storage. art. Santiago, a Charm City native, discovered Though the ceiling is awkwardly low — his talent for woodworking as a finance ma- a little higher than six feet — most people jor at George Washington University, when who visit, according to Santiago, appreciate he began piecing together and painting the quirkiness of Art Under Ground. scraps of wood to make furniture. However, when it comes to the quality of However, as he continued to produce art the art itself, Santiago admitted that it unthrough the years, working dercut the importance of Art Under Ground Gallery with wood, digital photogthe physical space of the 826 W. 36th St., raphy and mixed media, gallery. “The space doesn’t (410) 929-3280 he found that he was doing do anything for you. You Hours: Fridays 4-7 p.m. well enough to open his either fail or succeed on Saturdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m. own studio. your own.” The basement room was The owner has also adcleaned, painted and transformed into a opted a kind of democratic, anything-goes functioning two-room studio, with exhibi- approach in selecting works to display. “I tions displayed in the main room and with will probably never turn you away, “ Sanan area in the back where artists come to tiago said about artists who ask to show work on their projects. their work at Art Under Ground. Art Under Ground has held 25 exhibitions On several occasions, Santiago has found since it opened four years ago. It features pieces of anonymous artwork that had been works from a half-dozen artists, both from left on his doorstep. He calls them “orphans“ Baltimore and other parts of the country, on and has kept them in the studio. One of the rotation when there is no exhibition on dis- unclaimed works, a wire sculpture in the play. shape of a horseshoe crab, hangs outside While some of the artists shown hail from above the entrance. places like Connecticut, Rochester, NY and While Santiago is content with the curSeattle, most are locals who are current stu- rent location of the studio, he has plans to dents or graduates from UMBC, Towson move up, literally, to the back room of the University, MICA and University of Mary- Pearl Gallery. He hopes to construct a black land College Park. and white darkroom, so photographers can Santiago describes Art Under Ground as work in the studio as well. n

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

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April 18, 2010

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JH

How far would you go to get ahead?

By REBECCA FISHBEIN

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T THE END OF every semester, Hopkins students flood the underground levels of the the library in a desperate attempt to cram four months of information into a final exam hell week of epic proportions. They lament skipped lectures and half-skimmed readings, second-guess classes, majors and future careers and work day and night in order to secure that GPA which proves being worthy of a spot at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Many turn to caffeine to keep from falling asleep on our keyboards and textbooks, and Café Q’s special roundthe-clock coffee service becomes a savior in the time of struggle. But for some students, café-au-laits are not enough. Instead, they turn to special stimulants to keep focused. Prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin that work to keep the brain sharp and the body alert. Abuse them, and the side-effects turn you into a study machine. “My friend took [Adderall] and stayed up two days straight,” junior Seann Convey said. Students at Hopkins prefer not to talk about the drug, but in a world of high stress and cutthroat academics, like the one in which Hopkins students are of-

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

ten immersed, Adderall is an appealing and easily obtainable option, regardless of whether or not one has a prescription. “[Adderall] is very readily available,” junior Shawn Xu said. “It’s literally a phone call away, at almost any given time.” According to Alain Joffe, the director of Hopkins’ Health & Wellness Center, Adderall is beneficial for students diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurobehavioral developmental disorder that causes hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating. “It’s very clear that stimulant medications can work to help someone [afflicted with ADHD],” Joffe said. “There are many studies that show that they’re effective, especially in critical cases.” But the ostensible study-aid has an ugly side. Adderall, which was first manufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1996, is intended to aid men and women who have ADHD and narcolepsy by increasing alertness, concentration and cognitive performance. However, it is composed predominantly of highly addictive substances that can lead to serious side effects and withdrawal symptoms when abused. “It’s a stimulant,” Joffe said. “If you take too much of it, you can have an elevation of

The Underground

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blood pressure, a very rapid heartbeat, an irregular heartbeat and you can possibly have a seizure. It can have a lot of side effects depending on how much you take and what routes you can take it.” Amphetamine, one of the active chemicals in Adderall, is a potent and often dangerous stimulant, known to recreational users as speed or crank. In the U.S., amphetamine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and is only legal by prescription for medical treatment. Other drugs in this category include oxycodone, which is the active drug in opium, cocaine and the controversial painkiller OxyContin. Psychiatrists who prescribe Adderall are aware of the drug’s downsides. According to Arthur Hildreth, a consulting psychiatrist at the Hopkins’ Student Counseling Center and a professor of psychology at the University, those diagnosed with ADHD go through a seri-

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ous screening process before obtaining Adderall in order to determine whether the drug would be detrimental to them. “There’s an addiction potential for the stimulants,” Hildreth said. “We interview patients and ask them if they have a history of substance abuse. If they do have a history, then you would avoid prescribing them the drug.” Hildreth maintained that those who use the drug as prescribed tend to stay clear of Adderall’s more serious side effects. “The abuse potential, if you don’t have a history of such, is really quite low,” he said. According to students, many people seeking out the drug can obtain it from those who have already been prescribed it. “Most people have a prescription that they don’t use, and they sell the extras,” Convey said. “My friend sells them at about $5 a pill.” While popping an unprescribed Adderall or two might make it easier to finish that extra-dense Chem chapter, Joffe warned that

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taking the drug without a prescription could lead to some serious problems. “One of the reasons that a lot of medications are available only by prescription is because they have side effects,” Joffe said. “Before you take a medication, you have to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition that would perhaps preclude you taking that medication. You probably wouldn’t want somebody who has high blood pressure or an underlying heart condition to start taking Adderall, because it can put a strain on your heart.” Joffe also said that students who have not been evaluated by a doctor before taking Adderall may take it improperly, creating further complications. “Suppose you happen to have a cold and you’re taking something like Sudafed, which has an effedrine product in it, as well as Adderall,” Joffe said. “Those two drugs can interact and cause you to feel unwell. Over the years, I’ve seen students who have combined stim-

The Underground

ulant medications, taken [caffeine pills], and drank eight cups of coffee. They felt awful — dizzy, nauseous and a very rapid heartbeat.” Hildreth agreed that, when abused, Adderall has a very high potential for serious health disasters among students. “Chronic usage of higher doses [of Adderall] than prescribed could cause elements of psychosis with paranoid delusions,” he said. “There are also incidents of cardiac arrhythmia and blood pressure problems.”

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HE SIDE effects of unc ont r o l l e d Adderall use has not dissuaded Hopkins students from turning to the drug. The underground world of Adderall dealing and distribution has grown exponentially in the past few years and has proved to be a profitable practice. “People have a co-pay on their prescription for $20, $30 maybe, and sell [Adderall] for $10 a pill,” Xu

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said. “I would imagine it’s very lucrative.” Joffe said that purchasing prescription drugs from an unknown source is particularly dangerous because students might be unwittingly buying and consuming the wrong medications. “If a student has a prescription from a doctor, you can be sure what you’re getting is Adderall,” he said. “But if you’re going to an unknown source, you’re always at risk of getting the wrong medication or something tainted with other products.” Joffe also warned that taking Adderall in any form other than orally has the potential to increase negative side effects. “If you’re snorting it, you bypass the liver and it goes right to the lungs and the brain,” he said. “If there are any impurities in it, that’s more of a problem than if you take it orally and it goes to the liver and metabolizes there. If you’re

snorting it, you’re getting a more intense burst and depending on how susceptible you are, you might have more in the way of

Adderall] is so much as people want to help out their friends,” Xu said. “You could get it for free.” But Joffe believes that stu-

About Adderall

Used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD

Adderall sales in the United States soared by more than 3,100 percent between 2002 and 2005

A 2004 study at the University of Wisconsin determined 14 percent of students had misused Adderal

010 The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

Side effects of non-prescribed Adderall use can include paranoia, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, weight loss, seizures and irregular heartbeat

- Courtesy of the Washington Post

side effects.” Students who deal Adderall may not realize the negative effect the drug can have on others. Some may see it as a way to assist other overworked students. “A lot of times, it’s not how lucrative [dealing

dents who turn to stimulants to help power through difficult work periods may not achieve the results they want. “I understand the position that students get into where they have a ton of work and a short time to do it, but I suggest they avoid using stimulant medications to mediate

The Underground

this,” he said. “It is not clear that if you wait until a day or two before a project is due and then rely on stimulants to get you through the next 48 hours, the quality of the project will be better than if you hadn’t taken stimulants at all.” Hildreth urged students who were suffering from stress to seek outside help. “There’s always the counseling center, or talking with your Resident Advisors and friends,” he said. “Generally speaking, people should communicate what they’re stressed about and try to get a good handle on it at a realistic level.” He added that students feeling pressure from family members to perform well on exams might find it beneficial to talk about how they feel. “You should try to find out how realistic your parents’ expectations are and if they really expect as much as you think they do,” he said. n

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E KNOW more about the moon than we do about the bottom of our own oceans. The universe beneath the seas is both strange and wonderful. We enter a world of bioluminescent fish and beasts that we imagine to only exist in our wildest dreams. In a lab below Krieger Hall, members of the Dynamical Systems and Control Laboratory use a 43,000-gallon, 14-foot deepwater tank to test remotely operated robots that may one day explore the deepest parts of the ocean. The lab’s research focus is the navigation, sensing and control of remotely operated, underwater research vehicles. The Hydrodynamics Testing Facility tank is where different oceanographic systems for remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) or unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV) are tested. Here, their control and navigation systems can be refined before they are deployed at sea. For example, the JHUROV is a student-built vehicle that has helped test and refine navigation sensors, including Doppler sonar and a fiber-optic gyroscope, which have been applied to other underwater vehicles. Windows along the side of the tank allow researchers to get a

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The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

Diving to the depths By Anne Wang

side view of the vehicles, and various objects are placed on the bottom to simulate what the vehicle might encounter on the ocean floor. “Trying to find something in the deep ocean is like looking for your car keys on Mount Everest at night with a flashlight. In the middle of a blizzard. On your hands and knees,” said Sarah Webster, a current Ph.D. student at the DSCL. “Not only do you not know where your keys are, you’re not even sure where you are.” One of the challenges with using underwater robotic vehicles, and Webster’s main focus for her research, is determining exactly where the vehicle is in the ocean at any one time. The location helps give context to the data, from water salinity and temperature to species of organ-

The Underground

isms present, that the vehicle is collecting. Current systems for measuring the location of a UUV rely on acoustic signals sent from underwater modems, similar to how a dial-up Internet connection works. This system is limited in range and cannot be used for more than one UUV at a time. Webster is developing a method by which a single beacon broadcast from the research ship can reach many different UUVs. Once the UUV receives the information about the mother ship’s location, with the time the signal was sent encoded in the signal, it can calculate its own position relative to the broadcast. “I am investigating algorithms that would allow us to simultaneously navigate a large number

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of underwater vehicles using only a single beacon mounted on a surface ship,” Webster said. “Because the ship can move, the vehicles are not constrained to a small portion of the seafloor. In addition, enabling the simultaneous use of multiple underwater vehicles allows us to cover much larger areas in a short time, which significantly reduces the time required to complete a mission and the associated cost of ship time.” Another exciting project that members of the DSCL have been developing is an unmanned underwater robot called Nereus, which in May of 2009 reached the deepest point of the ocean, known as the Challenger Deep. Hopkins scientists from the DSCL worked with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Navy and the University of Hawaii. The approximately 11,000-meter deep Challenger Deep is part of a larger depression in the ocean floor called the Marianas Trench. The trench, part of the notorious Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean, was formed by the collision of two tectonic plates. The Pacific plate is forced beneath the Mariana plate, creating the 2,550-kilometer trench east of the Mariana Islands. While in the Challenger Deep, Nereus was tethered to the research ship Kilo Moana by a

light fiber-optic cable barely wider in diameter than a human hair. Nereus is only one of three vehicles to reach the Challenger Deep so far. The Japanese-built Kaiko reached it three times, the first in 1996, and the Swiss-built Trieste took a crew of two men — in the only manned voyage — in 1960. One of the biggest problems facing remotely operated vehicles is how to manage the miles of cables that connect the vehicle to the research vessel. The cables have to be strong so as not to break in the water, but not so heavy that they will snap under their own weight. Kaiko was ultimately lost because a cable connecting the vehicle to the research ship snapped in 2003. Unlike most remotely-operated vehicles, which require power cables running from the mother ship, Nereus runs on lithium-ion batteries. All that connects it to the mother ship is a 25-mile-long fiber-optic cable through which information is exchanged between robot and mother ship. Before Nereus, the maximum depth currently active robotic vehicles were able to reach was 6500 meters, which lies below 95 percent of

the sea floor. Nereus can also act as an autonomous underwater vehicle, meaning that it is free-swimming and does not have to be tethered to a mother ship. Future plans for Nereus include studying the ocean floor beneath polar ice caps and studying the hydrothermal vents, where the ecosystem is based not on sunlight and photosynthesis, but on organisms that feed off methane deposits from the heated water in the vents. n

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Rising Up: The History of Black Students at Hopkins

University and Hospital founder Johns Hopkins includes in his will that the hospital must provide care for Baltimore’s poor “without regard to sex, age, or color.”

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Here at Hopkins, while the University had accepted black students for several decades at this point, many still felt that Hopkins was discriminating against them. “Institutional racism suggested that we be treated differently, assuming we were all products, products of broken homes . . . That general stereotype that was the basis for in-

teraction with us was totally incongruent with the majority of the black students enrolled as undergraduates,” Hopkins alumnus John Guess, Jr, wrote in an e-mail to The News-Letter. During a basketball game, Guess and his friend Bruce Baker decided that they needed to take matters into their own hands and form the Black Students Union (BSU).

“I was political, but as a young man, Bruce was smart and wise beyond his actual years. I was a shoot from the hip kind of guy, but Baker was an extremely level headed guy . . . Baker also had insight into organizational development and a deeper understanding of our culture and achievement that most,” Guess wrote. The seeds for this event were

University President Ira Remsen states that accepting black students would be “almost suicidial” because it would decrease the enrollment of white students.

1887 Kelly Miller becomes the first black student at Hopkins. Miller, who had been born a slave, spent two years studying mathematics before a 25 percent tuition increase forced his departure.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

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1914

1867

HE YEAR WAS 1968. After decades of lunch-counter sit-ins, marches on Washington, and bus rides to the south, the Civil Rights Movement had reached its midnight hour. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Baltimore and other cities across the United States were consumed by race riots.

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By Peter Sicher

Because he is black, Harvard graduate Carl Murphy is denied application for a summer German course at Hopkins. University President Frank Goodnow bases the decision on Maryland’s history of providing seperate institutions for the “white and the colored.”

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Frederick Scott becomes the first African-American undergraduate student at Hopkins.

010 The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

Hopkins accepts its first female undergraduates, which includes three African-American women.

The Black Student Union is formed

percent. Nevertheless, it seems that at least some people at Hopkins regarded him with respect: Less than a year after he left the University, Gilman and Newcomb helped Miller get a job on the faculty at Howard University in Washington. For more than half a century, Miller would be the only African American to attend Hopkins. In fact, according to a Web site dedicated to the history of African Americans at Hopkins (run by the Milton S. Eisenhower Library) the history department, the Society of Black Alumni, the Fred Scott Brigade, the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Black Faculty and Staff Association, in 1910, Ira Remsen, the University’s second presi-

1992

1945

Trustees, who decided to admit Miller to the University. According to Stimpert, when he arrived at Hopkins, Miller was “ushered into a meeting in the president’s office, where Gilman reminded him that he was the first of his race to enroll at Hopkins and would therefore be subject to observation by the students, faculty, and community.” Gilman assured Miller that “all facilities of the University were open to him and the outcome of his Hopkins experience remained in his hands.” Miller would later say that students at Hopkins treated him with “cool, calculated civility.” Miller remained at Hopkins for two years, leaving when tuition was increased by 25

The Black Student Union holds a yearlong protest which included demands for a Black Studies program

1970

ere

dent, Kelly Miller. According to a 2001 article by Homewood archivist James Stimpert, Miller was born a slave in South Carolina in 1863, two years before the United States abolished the “peculiar institution” forever. Educated by Northern teachers after the Civil War, Miller began his undergraduate studies at Howard University in 1880. To pay for his tuition, he took a part-time job with the government, where he met Simon Newcomb, who would become a professor at Hopkins by 1887. Newcomb discussed Miller’s case with then-University President Daniel Gilman. The case for Miller’s admission was then presented to the Board of

1968

s a art ual the was guy nto ent g of ent

planted in the early years of Hopkins’ history. Johns Hopkins himself had fairly progressive views on race. In his instruction letter to the Hopkins Hospital’s trustees, he explicitly stated his desire that the hospital would serve the sick and injured, “without regard to sex, age or color” and that “the poor of this city and state, of all races, who are stricken down by any casualty, shall be received into the Hospital, without charge, for such periods of time and under such regulations as you may prescribe.” Despite the progressive views of its founder, the University was in operation for 11 years before it admitted its first African-American stu-

Special thanks to the African Americans At Hopkins Project

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Instead, his application was sity of which you are a trustee buried for 18 months before lacking in ‘common sense.’” finally being denied. Later, Mitchell wrote to the During those 18 months, his chairman of the board, “The case was championed by a Hop- University under your mankins professor named Broadus agement, if your attitude in Mitchell, a strong advocate of this matter of admission of racial equality. Mitchell ended Negroes is indicative, seems up getting in significant trou- to me in danger of shriveling ble with the administration intellectually and spiritually.” due to his persistence on behalf As the University continued of Edward Lewis. to ignore his pleas, Mitchell’s In reply to a letter sent by efforts were revealed in The Mitchell, an influential mem- News-Letter, which also polled ber of the graduate stuUn iver sit y dents across By 1968, African Board wrote, the Universi“In a place American students ty and found like Boston, were establishing a broad support where Nefor admitgreater presence on groes are in a ting Africancampus. However, small minorAmerican many still felt that ity it is posstudents. The sible to admit administrathe University was them to white ignoring their needs. tion was furischools, but ous. your suggesOn March tion that this 21, The Newsbe done in Maryland, a south- Letter published an editorial ern state, is a reflection on suggesting, “The best way to your common sense.” solve the problem, it seems to The very next day, Mitch- us, is to return to simplicity ell shot back a reply: “You are [and] examine the record of doubtless horrified that the Edward Lewis without regard Nazis exclude Jews from their to color.” universities, while you call the Lewis’s application was ofperson who objects to exclud- ficially rejected the same ing Negroes from the Univer- day. Later, after getting into

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dent, said that admitting black students to Hopkins would be “almost suicidal,” arguing that white students would go to southern schools because they shared “the natural feeling of men from that part of the country.” In 1914, Carl Murphy, an African-American Harvard alumnus, applied to take a summer course in German at Hopkins. He was rejected. In justifying the University’s decision, President Goodnow cited Maryland’s policy of providing separate institutions for “the white and the colored.” In 1937, Edward Lewis, a Baltimore native who had earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and had almost completed a second degree at The University of Pennsylvania, applied to study in the Department of Political Economy at Hopkins. According to the African Americans at Hopkins Project, Lewis, an active member of the NAACP, applied after the Maryland Court of Appeals forced the University of Maryland to accept black students in 1937. Perhaps he had hoped that Hopkins would follow the lead of the state university system.

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Underground

a heated argument with the B University president over est the issue, Mitchell resigned. on stil T TOOK ALMOST A ign decade before Hopkins thi admitted its first Afri- Gu can-American under- er t graduate. Frederick Scott was Th a Baltimorean who attended tio Frederick Douglass High alo School. “ Already accepted into Penn- pro sylvania State University, Scott as applied to Hopkins on a dare dri from his friends. He contacted the the Registrar and asked if they Ho “accepted Negroes in here.” W The Registrar told him to give ref it a try and Scott ended up en- and rolling at Hopkins in 1945. int While at Hopkins, he helped cup found the University’s chapter un of Beta Sigma Tau, the first in- wo terracial fraternity. Scott also “ was selected to serve on Hop- cre kins’ first honor council. per Scott did not recall experi- a n encing any overt discrimina- to tion at Hopkins, though he com believed he was kept out of the “ theater group Barnstormers the because of his race. While his wa studies were interrupted by a ing 15-month tour of duty in the We Army, in 1950 Scott became bla the first black undergraduate to hir receive a degree from Hopkins. sor

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the By 1968, black students were ver establishing a greater presence ed. on campus. However, many still felt that the University was A ignoring their needs. It was for ins this reason that students like fri- Guess and Baker came together- er to form the BSU. was The Hopkins administraded tion, however, refused to go igh along with the proposal. “That’s always been the nn- problem at Hopkins. It’s okay ott as long as we’re [blacks] not are driving the train,” Guess told ted the African-Americans at hey Hopkins project. re.” When the administration ive refused to cooperate, Guess en- and his friends took matters into their own hands and ocped cupied the Homewood House ter until the administration in- would listen to their demands. lso “We did not see courses that op- created awareness of our experience — remember, I, like eri- a number of students, came na- to Hopkins from segregated he communities,” he wrote. the “So we wanted courses on ers the black experience. And we his wanted black professors teachy a ing those and other courses. the We wanted an increase in me black student enrollment, the e to hiring of more black profesns. sors, the hiring of a black staff

10 The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

person in the university admissions office, a black barber and a section of the Milton Eisenhower library that would be dedicated to black authors.” “The students also asked that committees be formed “to facilitate the integration of the black community into Homewood, while still maintaining their black identity” and they requested formal recognition of this “Black Student Union” by the administration,” he wrote. According to Guess, most of the demands the black students presented were eventually met by the University begrudgingly. Others, he wrote, were met in, “a spirit of healthy attempts to understand these new people and unfamiliar culture thrust upon University officials.” He looks back on his student radicalism with pride. “It was a major accomplishment, getting mostly middle class kids to take such a rebellious act toward authority, regardless of whether we were right or not,” he wrote. The University still refused to cooperate when it came to the creation of the BSU, however. The administration objected to language in the pro-

posed BSU constitution that it believed would ban whites from joining the organization. Rather than accept the University’s decision, the black students formed the BSU anyway. It received official sanction in 1969. While at Hopkins, Guess was also elected as the first black president of the Student Council. He served during a tumultuous time. “The night of my election, there was a police drug bust on campus. I ran during a period when the Vietnam War and Civil Rights demonstrations were prevalent.  I had been to New Hampshire supporting Gene McCarthy and had been a youth coordinator for CORE (The Congress of Racial Equality) in Baltimore,” Guess wrote. “That night, after class, there was a huge protest rally because of students’ feeling that the police had ‘violated’ the campus.  My year as president was a riotous one, with me establishing a ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ to formulate policy that was presented to the Council, at times having to explain my not carrying more water for the BSU, and shutting down funding for The News-Letter when it

The Underground

became a bit too critical of me.” For Guess, the drug bust was the single event that brought Hopkins into the national protest movement. When student protests stopped classes from being held, Guess and other student leaders negotiated with administrators and worked to reopen classes. But tension between black students and the Hopkins Administration continued. In the academic year 1992-1993, the BSU, led by Henry Boateng, was involved in several controversies on campus. They presented a list of demands to the University calling for the hiring of more black faculty and the creation of an AfricanAmerican studies program. The BSU also occupied the MSE Library after-hours because it objected to a display on white abolitionists put up for Black History Month. They believed the display suggested black history was a story of African-Americans being helped by whites. Forty-two years later, the BSU remains active on campus, preserving the legacies of Miller, Guess and other black students who fought for equality in the face of opposition and indifference. n

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B’More Inked Baltimore tattoo artists take on a unique canvas By Christina Warner This year’s Baltimore Tattoo Convention shed light on the impressive permanent artwork of world famous tattoo artists. The Convention, an annual event held in the Inner Harbor, provides an outlet for tattoo fanatics to show off their own work, get some new ink and celebrate the unique — and often overlooked — talent of tattoo artists. However, one need not wait for the next convention in order to experience truly magnificent work because Baltimore houses its very own seasoned tattoo artists. What comes to most people’s minds when thinking of Baltimore tattoo art is the Baltimore Tattoo Museum. Located near Fell’s Point, George “Fudgie” Dobson, Chris Keaton and Bill Stevenson opened the museum, which also doubles as a tattoo street shop, in 1999. With 10 years under its belt, the Museum has never been more popular. While its artists specialize in old school traditional, portraits, Japanese, Kanji and more, they are most often complemented on their ability to create a custom work inspired by an off-the-wall gallery piece.  Visiting the museum, though, is one of the best ways to begin one’s apprecia-

tion of the history of tattooing. It showcases this history in pictures, old tattoo needles and even a dated Barbie doll with a stick-on tattoo. The museum serves as a reminder that while tattoos have become less stigmatized recently, they have been around forever and upon getting a tattoo, one becomes a part of a long-running tradition of permanent body art. The Baltimore Tattoo Museum’s Dobson eventually moved onto Read Street Tattoo Parlour, another big name in Baltimore tattoo culture. With its four current artists, Read Street has also become known for hosting renowned guest artists from around the world. No longer located on Read Street, the parlor has retained its name. One thing it did not retain, however, was celebrated artist Seth Ciferri. Ciferri is known not simply in Baltimore, but throughout the worldwide tattoo community. And while Read Street has undergone some significant changes, it is still hailed for being one of the best parlors in Baltimore. As of late, several members of Read Street Tattoos have left the famous shop and opened Devil’s Workshop, which is housed in the old Reptilian Records next to the Ottobar. Less than a year ago, the Devil’s Workshop celebrated its grand opening, and while it may not have as many years as other Baltimore tattoo shops, it certainly holds a lot of promise. With names like Dobson (previously of Read Street and Baltimore Tattoo Museum), this shop might make

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The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Underground

April 18, 2010 The


City Paper’s “Best Tattoo Parlor” yet. Other shops include Saints and Sinners and Baltimore’s oldest, Tattoo Charlie’s Place. Established in 1938, Charlie’s is Maryland’s oldest studio and the United States’ second-oldest studio. And don’t forget Charm City Tattoo.  In a city with no lack of artists, hipsters and individuals with a yen for ink, there have been other places than just tattoo parlors to view artwork. Art shows, such as “Baltimore Ink: Patterns on Bodies,” have occasionally been featured at local venues.  However, it should be noted that photos of works of art can only go so far. Think about it this way: looking at a print of the “Mona Lisa” is far different than seeing it on the walls of the Louvre. The same goes for tattoos: Seeing them in person is an entirely different experience. Favorite waiters or baristas in Charles Village, Hampden and Remington are only some examples of the tattooed Baltimore citizens.  Ex-city planner Jim Hall is one of the more famous tattooed Baltimoreans. His entire body, including some areas that

10 The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

would appear excruciatingly painful to stick a needle, has been covered in a blue and black pattern he designed himself. Suprisingly though, in an interview with The News-Letter last year, he said the most painful area to get tattooed was his scalp. His shop of choice has Glen Burnie’s Dragon Moon Tattoo Studio. While this is the first mention of Dragon Moon, the shop cannot be noted without acknowledging its contribution to Hall’s full-body masterpiece, which is certainly one of Baltimore’s most impressive tattoo feats. Whether you are interested in getting your own ink done, or simply in recommending an artist to a friend, there is no need to look any further than the city limits of Baltimore. Word on the street is as good as a “Best of Baltimore” City Paper review, and it is likely that both verbal and print recommendations will send you to the same places. Be it a well-established parlor, or one that well-known artists have just opened, there is no lack of variety and talent in the world of Baltimore tattoo art.

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The Underground Volume II  

In our second installment of the Underground magazine, we take a closer look at issues and places oft ignored at Hopkins. Dive beneath the o...

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