Sure, you've heard about Harlem, New York, a trendy uptown Manhattan neighborhood filled with Black culture and irresistible music. But have you ever heard of Seneca Village?
Before Harlem became an urban mecca, there was Seneca Village. Founded in 1825 by free Black Americans, it was the first such community in The City.
Fast-forward to today, and you'll notice that the section of Central Park that was once Seneca Village is set to be the temporary home of the augmented and inaugural 'Say Their Names Memorial Exhibition'. It kicks off on Saturday, September 17th, and ends Monday, October 17th.
“Racial violence has been a distinct part of American history since 1660. While that violence has impacted every ethnic and racial group in the United States, it has had a particularly horrific effect on African American life ranging from revolts of the enslaved and lynchings to urban uprisings and calculated acts of murder. SDAAMFA is honored to bring this exhibition to New York City and dedicate it to the ongoing fight to end systemic racism.” - Gaidi Finnie, Executive Director of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art
Produced by the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, this collaboration includes the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the New York Urban League, among other NYC cultural institutions. Described as an augmented reality experience that combines digital photography, cutting-edge technology, and art. There are 50 virtual pedestals bearing over 200 photos of Black people who died from racism over the span of 200 years.
This is precisely what we need so that each and every one of the names we cried out during the 2020 lockdown-driven protests won’t have died in vain.
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash.com
People featured in the memorial include Eric Garner, Emmett Till, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, along with victims of the May 14th mass shooting at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Say it with me, THEY MATTER, WE MATTER!
Come September 17th, I know what I’m doing. Do you?