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Artist Statement

Artist Statement.

This list is a response to the system.  

A system built upon centuries of injustice and inequity towards Black lives based on the color of our skin. 

This list is a panoramic view of Black lives killed by the police between 2013 and present day 2020. 

This list includes over 2,000 of those names. 

These are names we have not read about in the news, and names that have become embedded into our cultural landscape.  

Many are familiar to the point of being familial. We demand justice for their lost lives as if they were our mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, cousins, or grandchildren.

They were all someone’s child, but when Black that reality includes a system that has never valued you as part of a family.  

These are

not the names of our ancestors that were brought here against their will, shackled on ships.

These are not the names of those whose bodies have been lynched or brutally beaten, dismembered and discarded. 

These are not the names of Black women who lost their lives due to negligence in maternity wards that cared not for their bodies.

These are not the names of lives lost within our nation’s labyrinthine prison system.

According to a Harvard University study, Black Americans are 3.23 times more likely than whites to be killed during a police encounter.

According to a study by researchers at Rutgers University, The University of Michigan and Washington University in St. Louis, 1 in 1,000 Black men can expect to die at the hands of police in their lifetime.

These are the names of Black lives lost at the hands of police.

Some of the Black lives on this list committed violent crimes. Some were innocent bystanders. Some were presumed dangerous -- killed within seconds -- before they had a chance to prove otherwise. 

Each of their lives mattered.

This list might be out of date the moment that you see it because another murder will have occured: because another Black person will have been senselessly shot, tased, brutalized, merely because they were Black; because their existence and their Blackness was an assumed threat to the police officer they encountered, no matter the equation of their meeting.

Black bodies should not be summarily executed by the police. 

Some of the Black lives on this list never got a driver's license, graduated high school, fell in love, or got married.

This is not a complete list. How could it be? 

Between 2013 and present day 2020, over 2,000 Black lives were taken by police violence.

Why must we shout so loud?

Why must equality be a question?

Why must we say their names?
“What is it you want me to reconcile myself to?... You always told me it takes time.  It has taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ time and my sisters’ time, my nieces’ and my nephews’ time.  How much time do you want for your ‘progress’?” 
~ James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket ~