It took over a month to finish writing all of these names of black folks killed by police brutality. I had only intended to use one small part of our fence for names, but as I kept learning and listening there was literally no space left to write after a while. I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to learn these names and the lives they lead.
Our landlords said my chalk art on the fence was causing harm and inviting vandalism and needs to be removed. I’ve sat and listened with people who have asked for chalk to write the name of their black friend killed by police violence. I’ve learned about every one of the lives of the folks whose names I’ve written. I’ve sat with parents who asked for help explaining to their children what is happening right now. I’ve cried with a neighbor when he brought flowers to put next to his dead friend’s name. This is not about me – this is about these black lives. Being told that chalk invites vandalism and needs to be gone just feels not great. My literal blood, sweat, and tears have gone into writing everyone’s name and I’d like to think of it as a work of art in support of BLM. I’m here. I’m learning. I’m listening. Your life matters.
These are the names of black people killed by police brutality. We’re all here to support this movement and amplify your voices.
Arrest the police who murdered Breonna Taylor.
Your landlord must not support the cause, well done on a sad memorial. But I think you would need an entire city of empty fences to include every name from a century of police violence.
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