BLACK LIFE AS SUBJECT MATTER II
TITLE: “BLACK SPIRITS MATTER”
by Deborah Dixon
Media: Mixed Media
Size: 47″ x 17″ x 12”
What can I possibly say that has not already been said about Black Lives Matter? But in truth, black lives have mattered since we were stolen from our ancestral lands and forced upon ships to endure the Middle Passage, the horrors of slavery, Reconstruction, forced segregation and a myriad of different forms of violence perpetrated through economic, medical, and social means.
Today, the blood of our people that have been callously spilled at the hands of those who took an oath to serve and protect, is a special travesty. For years, African Americans have borne the brunt of racism in law enforcement; too often equal treatment under the law has been a grim joke to many poor people of color.
The shock and rage resulting from the public lynching of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin was recorded by cell phones and the horror, uncomfortable and inconvenient fact of police brutality, was broadcast for the world to see. As Mr. Floyd pleaded for his life and stated he could not breathe, Officer Chauvin, with his knee on George Floyd’s neck and with seeming nonchalance and indifference, took Mr. Floyd’s life in 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Many black men, women and children, have been shot dead running away or attempting to comply to officer commands with hands up pleading for their lives.
Then, there is Breonna Taylor and John Crawford, Jr., who did not have the chance to plead or ask questions before being gunned down in their home or holding a BB gun in the isle of a local Beavercreek, Ohio Wal-Mart. Rage is what I and many people of color have known and felt for years. But I have found my years of anger to be exhausting and I want to lay this rage down for a while and contemplate another reality.
My submittal, entitled "Black Spirits Matter" speaks to the collective resilience of my people. I hope my art sculpture evokes thought, acknowledgement and appreciation in the viewer of the Eternal Light of Spirit. We have endured much and have overcome the odds by drawing upon this Light, and it is my honor to share my visual representation of this Life Force with you.