Here are the three paintings I showed at The Black Lives Matter: Humanity Not Negotiable. I came up with this idea while I was driving to work one morning. On the radio, Constance Rice, a civil rights attorney, she worked with the Los Angeles Police Department to build trust with minority communities. This amazing lady said she interviewed hundreds of police officers and they all have one answer in common. “Ms. Rice I’m scared of black men. Black men terrify me. I’m really scared of them. Ms. Rice, you know black men who come out of prison, they’ve got great hulk strength and I’m afraid they’re going to kill me. Ms. Rice, can you teach me how not to be afraid of black men.” I am sure what is happening right now is not all that simplistic for example, Tamir Rice was not big or old but he got shot anyways but it is for sure some of the problem we have. Listen to the program here.
Then I started thinking about the black men I know. Who they are and how the society perceived them, including me. At this point, I started to think about Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown and all of them. I wondered if they will be here today if the police officers knew who they truly are. I wondered if it made a difference if the police officers knew the mothers, the loved ones who cared for them. I also wondered If it made a difference if the police officers knew their contribution to their community. I wondered. I am not sure if it made a difference but it for sure will help the police to see the human side of us.
Here are my two friends and me telling the world who we truly are.
Thanks for Naomi Ishisaka for taking the photos. Here is her portfolio website