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Monday, December 12, 2011

1892: 230 Lynchings in America

There were 230 people lynched in 1892 and this piece is dedicated to each of those individuals.


Lynchings in One Year

1892 (originally titled 230 nooses) is the piece that started the idea of using nooses. Through research I found that there were 230 people lynched in 1892.

Viewing X and Cone in Historical Context

I had been trying to figure out how to help people understand Malcolm X and James Cone, two historical figures often misunderstood. Using nooses to show the extent of the overwhelming hatred, racism, ignorance, and bigotry to which they were responding seemed like a perfect solution to help people see the necessity for their intensity. I wasn’t sure where I was going with this idea of creating nooses or how I was going to display the 230 drawings. All I knew was that I had to make over 20 every week to make enough in time for opening night.

Experimenting

In addition to the 230 nooses, this piece actually morphed into several other works including Negro Family Tree, History Can’t be Undone, but It Can be Erased, American Dream, and Noose. The variety of works developed through the process of making 230 drawings.  I experimented and the experiments ended up being separate works.  The text hidden in this piece is composed of quotes from KKK leaders and essays I read while researching for Make it Plain.  These quotes and more text will reappear in a post about one of my books exhibited in this art show.


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