Showing posts with label racial justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racial justice. Show all posts

Saturday, September 25, 2021

National Cathedral Names Artist, Kerry James Marshall To Replace Confederate Windows With Racial Justice Imagery

Washington National Cathedral announced that it will replace its former stained-glass windows featuring Confederate iconography, removed in 2017, with racial-justice themed windows created by world-renowned artist Kerry James Marshall, described by The New Yorker as “a virtuoso of landscape, portraiture, still-life, history painting, and other genres of the Western canon.”

The Cathedral’s commission represents Marshall’s first time working with stained-glass as a medium, and the windows are expected to be his first permanent public exhibition anywhere in the country.

The Cathedral removed windows featuring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson – which were located along the southern face of its nave, or its main worship space – in September 2017, following the white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summer of 2020, amid the historic movement for racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd, the Cathedral began collaborating with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to plan the public exhibition of the Robert E. Lee window.

“For nearly 70 years, these windows and their Confederate imagery told an incomplete story; they celebrated two generals, but they did nothing to address the reality and painful legacy of America’s original sin of slavery and racism. They represented a false narrative of what America once was and left out the painful truth of our history,” said The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “We’re excited to share a new and more complete story, to tell the truth about our past and to lift up who we aspire to be as a nation.”

Hollerith continues, “We are thrilled that Kerry James Marshall has agreed to lend his immense talents and creative vision to this important project. He is one of the greatest artists of our time, and we are honored to add his artistic legacy to the iconography of this Cathedral. To complement Mr. Marshall’s work, we welcome the words of Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, one of America’s great poets and a native Washingtonian, whose incredible ability to capture the pain of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow will be felt in our house of prayer through her inscribed words.”

Marshall—the artist and professor whose paintings depicting Black life in America have been sold, viewed, and showcased across the world for decades—will design the stained-glass windows that will replace the Lee/Jackson windows. His new windows will reflect the Cathedral’s stated desire for new windows that “capture both darkness and light, both the pain of yesterday and the promise of tomorrow, as well as the quiet and exemplary dignity of the African American struggle for justice and equality and the indelible and progressive impact it has had on American society.” Marshall has taught painting at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been named to TIME’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“This project is not just a job – I don’t need the work – or only a piece of art. It’s kind of a calling, and a real honor to be asked,” said artist Kerry James Marshall. “The themes that the Cathedral committee articulated set a great challenge for me as an artist and as a Black American man. The goal is to make truly meaningful additions to an already rich and magnificent institution, to make the changes they have embraced truly worth the effort.”

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sandra Bland's Family Reaches Tentative $1.9M Settlement in Lawsuit

The family of Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell after her arrest following a traffic stop, has reached a tentative settlement of its wrongful death lawsuit, according to the family's attorney and officials in Waller County, Texas.

Cannon Lambert, the lawyer representing Bland’s family, told ABC-owned station WLS in Chicago today that a $1.9 million settlement was reached in the family's civil suit against the Texas Department of Public Safety; Waller County, Texas; and some county employees including two former jailers.

Waller County released a statement by its attorney Larry Simmons that a potential settlement agreement has been reached but that a few details remain to be worked out and the final deal must be approved by the county commissioners. "The Waller County defendants ... emphasize they vigorously deny any fault or wrongdoing," the county's attorney said.

Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said the most important part of the tentative settlement is the changes that Waller County would make to its jailhouse procedures.

“Obviously, it will never bring Sandy back,” Reed-Veal said in an interview with WLS. But, she added, “I feel so excited that now we have real change that’s about to happen right there in Waller County. I believe it will affect many, many other places across the country. It’s a victory for mothers.”

Lambert said that under the settlement Waller County must provide emergency nurses during all shifts at the jail; use automated electronic sensors to ensure accurate and timely checks on all occupied jail cells; and actively seek passage of state legislation that would provide greater funding for the intake and screening of county jail inmates and for other supports for local jails.

Of the $1.9 million agreed to in the settlement, Waller County will be responsible for the bulk of it, $1.8 million, Lambert told WLS. The Texas Department of Public Safety is limited by state statutes to paying no more than $100,000 under such lawsuits, he said.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero 10 point plan to address police abuse

Black Lives Matter activists have released a 10 point plan to address abuses by US police forces after critics said that the group has lacked direction.
The plan, called "Campaign Zero", urges policy changes and proposes laws on federal, state and local levels.

The plans calls for:

Ending "broken windows" policing, which aggressively polices minor crimes in an attempt to stop larger ones

Using community oversight for misconduct rather than having police decide what consequences officers face

Making standards for reporting police use of deadly force

Independently investigating and prosecuting police misconduct

Having the racial makeup of police departments reflect the communities they serve

Requiring officers to wear body cameras

Providing more training for police officers

Ending for-profit policing practices

Ending the police use of military equipment

Implementing police union contracts that hold officers accountable for misconduct