Say their names

Since Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014, there has been at least one hundred Black brothers and sisters killed at the hands of police brutality. This number continues to grow and with each new death, our collective grief, sorrow,…

Say their names

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Since Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014, there has been at least one hundred Black brothers and sisters killed at the hands of police brutality. This number continues to grow and with each new death, our collective grief, sorrow, and pain grows with it. Amidst this, we are also experiencing a pandemic, incompetent leadership, and an economic depression. We need to heal.

The days following George Floyd’s death, I’ve collected a series of field recordings around New York City capturing the meditative qualities these protests carry. Meditation allows us to heal, reflect, and empower ourselves so that we can upend and decolonize the racist institutions that control us. We need strength at this time to make real change.

The presence of law enforcement is clearly audible in these recordings. The binaural hum of a police helicopter lulls, subdues, and eventually puts us in a position of discomfort. This sedative state serves as a reminder that we are complicit in enabling police brutality and our discomfort should provoke us to no longer accept the unacceptable. We must fight.

The names listed here are more than a statistic to police brutality. Each name here is meant to be said and remind us that one Black life is one too many.

Special thanks to the Black speakers, performers, and musicians in Washington Square Park, Union Square, and various protests throughout New York City. I was not able to get their names, but if anyone knows, please share them with me so that I can credit their contribution.

Thank you to my collaborators Jazsalyn McNeil for curating this project for Black Beyond; and Olivia Lim, Anela Chan, and Tiffany Topor for sharing your field recordings with me.

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