Sandtown-Winchester is a neighborhood in West Baltimore, Maryland. Known locally as Sandtown. The community's name was derived from the trails of sand that dropped from wagons leaving town after filling up at the local sand and gravel quarry back in the days of horse-drawn wagons. It is located North of West Lafayette Street, West of North Fremont Avenue, South of West North Avenue, and East of North Monroe Street, covering an area of 72 square blocks, patrolled by the Baltimore Police Department's Western District. The community is 98.5% African American.
This neighborhood remains one of West Baltimore's most blighted and problematic communities concentrated with Bloods and Crips gang members.
Sandtown is located in a historically African American area of West Baltimore neighboring the once affluent Upton. In the second half of the 20th century, Sandtown experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting. Whereas in the 1950s and 1960s famous African American performers such as Billie Holiday and Diana Ross performed there and it was sometimes referred to as Baltimore's Harlem, by the time of the 2015 protests and rioting (See 2015 Baltimore protests) over the death of Freddie Gray, 3% of its populations was incarcerated, a third of its housing abandoned, 20% of working age people were unemployed, and a third of residents were living in poverty.