Am I Next? mural with paint, stencil and ink, 2017, Monica Villarreal
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“7/10/2015 4:27 p.m” by Josie Pickens; review poem of the “How Do I Say Her Name” exhibition

                                                     7/10/2015          4:27 p.m.

 

that                              moment                       when                           you                           realize

the                               words                          SANDRA                      BLAND                      spoke

to                                 the                               cop                              who                          abused

arrested                       triggered                      HER                           and                           orchestrated

HER                             death                           was                               a                              conversation

every                           BLACK                         WOMAN                      has                            had

with                             America.

“I’m                             waiting                        on                                you.                           This

is                                your                             job.                              I’m                              waiting

on                                you.                             When’re                      you                            going

to                                 let                                me                               go?”                           …

“I                                 was                             getting                          out                             of

your                             way.                            You                              were                           speeding

up,                               tailing                          me,                              so                               I

move                           over                             and                              you                            stop

me                               So                                 yeah,                           I                                 am

a                                  little                             irritated.”                    “You                           asked

me                               what                            was                              wrong,                       now

I                                   told                              you.                             “NO                            YOU

DON’T                         HAVE                           THE                              RIGHT.”                      “YOU

DON’T                         HAVE                           THE                              RIGHT                         TO

DO                               THIS.”                         “DON’T                        TOUCH                        ME!”

“You                            feel                              real                              good                           about

yourself                      don’t                            you?”                          “Why                            will

you                              not                                tell                              me                              what’s

going                            on?”                            “‘Cause                       you                              know

this                              straight                       bullshit.                      And                              you’re

full                               of                                 shit.                            Full                              of

straight                        shit.                             That’s                          all                              y’all

are                               is                                   some                         straight                      scared

cops.                            …                                 GOT                            Y’ALL                          BITCH

ASSES                           SCARED.                    That’s                           all                               it

is                                   FUCKING                  SCARED                       OF                               A

FEMALE.”

 

                                             Video of Sandra Bland’s Arrest

The Narrative, intaglio embossing, video, found objects, 24 x 32 x 4 inches, 2017, Ann Johnson

The Narrative, intaglio embossing, video, found objects, 24 x 32 x 4 inches, 2017, Ann Johnson

Directions to Prairie View, 6:52 min video looped 2017, Autumn Knight

Directions to Prairie View, 6:52 min video looped 2017, Autumn Knight

Do So in Remembrance of She, fabric cast aluminum, 25 x 36 inches, 2017, Kaneem Smith

Do So in Remembrance of She, fabric cast aluminum, 25 x 36 inches, 2017, Kaneem Smith

Exhibition Video:

Link


A great African Proverb reminds us that until the lions have their own storytellers, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.  Josie Pickens’ life work is to help the lions of the world tell their stories. Pickens is an activist, culture critic, scribe, educator and soldier of love.  She utilizes all of her various talents and passions to uplift and translate the narratives of women and people of color through the lenses of creative writing, journalism, performance and professorship.  As a columnist for Ebony Digital, Jo explores love and relationships in a manner that focuses on our humanity and self-love foremost, and specifically comments on topics associated with race and feminism. She also offers insightful and authentic cultural critique on subjects ranging from pop culture to politics for various publications including Ebony.com, The Root, and The Guardian, and serves as a composition instructor and mentor for students at Texas Southern University.


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