Photo: Cab Calloway, 1937. www.cabcalloway.com
By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
The Doni Glover Show on WOLB 1010 AM (Thurs. 11a-12p)
(BALTIMORE – October 14, 2019) – This is the third and hopefully final piece on the issue Druid Heights Community Development Corporation (DHCDC) has been facing for the past couple of months. Peter Brooks, who claims to be the grandson of the famous entertainer from Baltimore – Cab Calloway, has been on a rampage.
Although he worked at Coppin State back in the mid-90s, Brooks has emerged as of late pretending to care about his grandfather’s childhood home.
Now, when Baltimore Brew publisher Mark Reutter brought him to my home back in August or so, they both expressed interest in the future of Calloway’s former residence in Druid Heights. Like a good neighbor, I informed them both that they should talk to Jacqueline Cornish. After all, she has been at the helm of DHCDC for years and it was only appropriate.
At least, that’s what makes sense to me.
However, not everyone thinks like me. I get it.
What ensued since then has been an all-out multi-media assault on DHCDC by Brooks and his cohorts that was terribly disrespectful to both DHCDC and to Cornish. For the life of me, I still cannot understand how Brooks all of a sudden has so much interest in a neighborhood he has just decided to visit. Again, back in the 90s, he worked at Coppin. I know because he was briefly a professor in our media arts department.
Why all of this interest now?
That question might be answered with dollar signs. I don’t know. What I do know is that Brooks and his sidekick, Brian Hawkins (supposedly a developer), wreaked havoc with the help of local and national media. They were making the case in public that Calloway’s house should be saved.
They painted a picture as if DHCDC was ignoring “the community” when nothing could be further from the truth. In DHCDC’s defense, this news outlet published a couple of pieces in support of DHCDC. Yet, Brooks’ onslaught continued.
Once again, all Brooks had to do was meet with DHCDC and I am almost sure something could have been worked out. However, Brooks did not take my advice. He continued to slander Cornish, staged faux protests, and solicited support from anyone who would listen.
While the matter has been officially resolved (Cab Calloway Square will be the end result, not saving the dilapidated buildings that have been vacant for decades), there is one final point that truly clears up all of this mess. It is a letter from Cabella Calloway Langsam dated October 3, 2019 that reads:
RE: Support for Cab Calloway Square
Dear Mr. Pressley and the Board of Directors
My name is Cabella Calloway Langsam, I am the youngest daughter of Cab Calloway, the president and chair of the board of the Cab Calloway Foundation, and manager of the intellectual property estate of Cab Calloway dba Creative Arts by Calloway, LLC, the sole owner of all rights related to Cab Calloway.
I am writing this letter to affirm estate and personal support for the community’s plans to create and name a park after my father, Cab Calloway, in the 2200 block of Druid Hill Avenue, where his family resided for many years. The redevelopment of the area by the community-minded DHCDC would both honor Cab Calloway and benefit the community with vital green space.
We appreciate the planning and community engagement by the DHCDC that created this opportunity for the community.