UNARMED was featured yesterday on ABC 7 Eyewitness News, NY and the day before that on News12 Brooklyn. Design blog Subtraction.com tells a visual story of the series. Bobbito Garcia interviewed me on Stretch and Bobbito Thursdays. Quick mention a couple weeks back in sports uniform authority Uni-Watch.
Over the weekend there was another police killing of a black man caught on video in Atlanta, GA, and increased scrutiny over several hangings of black men across the country. I’ve designed a jersey for Rayshard Brooks, but first we grieve.
The UNARMED project was started to protest racist killings by the police. But Unarmed stands against racist killings of all kinds. We cry for Oluwatoyin Salau, 19, too. Salau, a #BlackLivesMatter activist, was sexually assaulted and murdered by a black man in her own community.
Breonna Taylor, 26 • Ahmaud Arbery, 25 • Dominique Alexander, 27 • Malcolm Harsch, 38 • Robert Fuller, 24 • Rayshard Brooks, 27
The poet Thomas Gray said “Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.” We see these flowers and rejoice in their bloom.
The installation started with a phone call. The homie Michael Hastings-Black had known about UNARMED for years and the moment demanded action. His friend Trevor MacDermid has a business making large-scale prints. The three of us collaborated just a few weeks ago on MHB’s Hungry Vintage, which raises money for food banks. Why not link up together once again for Unarmed? Within a couple days the prints were made, and a day after that we met on Flatbush Avenue to install them. A few other friends joined – that’s Arjun’s son below. Pressing each person’s name onto the wall with our hands felt special. I hope they felt us reaching up to them.