Four Generations of Arabbers

Four Generations of Arabbers

Gaia, a street artist featured in Volume XII of LUMINA, has launched a kickstarter account to raise funds for the transformation and eventual historical preservation of the yard used by the Arabbers, a group of Baltimore fruit vendors famous for their horse-drawn carriages.

The following information comes directly from the kickstarter page:

“Arabbing as a practice began in the 19th century in Baltimore when easy access to stables and the shipyards of the inner harbor made selling fruit with horse drawn carriages an attainable entrepreneurial enterprise for African Americans in Baltimore. During the war effort and after WWII arabbing became an almost entirely African American trade. Competition from supermarkets and restrictions from modern zoning laws have endangered this heritage. Today there are only a couple sites left that serve as arabbing stables, with the Fremont Avenue location being one of the most prominent in the city. Today, arabbing serves as a viable living for a handful of men and their families whilst also serving a variety of communities including neighborhoods that do not have easy access to produce and whole foods.

Mata Ruda, Gaia, Nanook and LNY will use the story and experience of Baltimore’s fruit sellers to produce murals that will span the entirety of inside and exterior of the Fremont stables. The paintings are apart of a larger plan that will be implemented on behalf of the Arabber Preservation Society in the near future to make the site into a visitor center and provide the necessary renovations to the preexisting stable.”

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