For Mr. Floyd, Ms Taylor…

a memorial exhibition

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Darius Tarver, Miles Hall, William Green, Pamela Turner, Samuel David Mallard, Jordan Edwards, Christopher Whitfield, Anthony Hill, Tamir Rice, Natasha McKenna, John Crawford III, Laquan McDonald, Botham Shem Jean, Jamarion Robinson, Gregory Hill Jr., E.J. Bradford, Ryan Twyman, Akai Gurley, Eric Harris, Philando Castile, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Jimmy Atchison, Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., D’ettrick Griffin, Jemel Roberson, Walter Scott, DeAndre Ballard, India Kager, Botham Shem Jean, Nathaniel Harris Pickett, Rumain Brisbon, Robert Lawrence White, Ramarley Graham, Wendell Allen, Kendrec McDade, Larry Jackson Jr., Jerame Reid, Charly Keunang, Tony Robinson, Jonathan Ferrell, Brendon Glenn, Dontre Hamilton, Michael Brown, Michael Dean, Jamee Johnson, Eric Garner, Kajieme Powell, Antwon Rose, Bettie Jones, Stephon Clark, Freddie Gray, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin… The list could go on and on, back to Emmett Till and so many others.

Black Americans killed by law enforcement or vigilantes is one of many tragic aspects of ongoing racism in our country.

Launched June 19, 2020, this online exhibition is the result of an open call for artists to respond to the killings of Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, and so many others. The CALL for art can be read at https://workssanjose.org/calls-for-art/

Click on any work to view the exhibition as a slide show. The exhibit includes physical and digital pictorial art, street installations, sculpture, a poem below, and an original song by aspirinrose premiered here:

Hard to Breathe by asprinrose

I CAN’T BREATHE

by Ramon Navarro Johnson

I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
There’s evil on top of me
And this evil is killing me.

What the hell’s wrong
With American society
That allows black men 
To be killed indiscriminately.

I know what we must do
I know what we must seek
Is justice for all of those
Who now can’t speak.

People of color
Have never been free
So how can we say honestly
America’s the Land of Liberty.

So let me tell you now
My Truth of a black persons reality
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
There’s injustice on top of me
And this injustice is killing me.

I may exist
I may dream
But I’m not equal
And nobody listens to me when I scream.

I know what we must do
I know what we must seek
Is justice for all of those
Who now can’t speak.

People of color
Have never been free
So how can we say honestly
America’s the Land of Liberty.

So let me tell you now
My Truth of a black persons reality
I can’t breathe 
I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
The racism of America
Keeps killing me.

I’m just as American
As any one of you can be
But my humanity
Is something white America never sees.

Every day every day
I feel your hatred constantly
Once I suffered in silence
Now you will hear me speak.

Once born
I’ve never been free
So how can you tell me honestly

America’s the Land of Liberty.

So let me tell you now
How your hatred is killing me
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe
But you can’t kill
You can’t kill my dignity.

And one day one day
I’ll live to see Doctor King’s dreams become a reality
Then I can breathe
Then I can breathe.

I’m a child of God
And my God’s in heaven
Shining her love down on me
Shining her love down on me.

Though white America 
Doesn’t give a damn about me
I still believe
I still believe.

I’ll be free
I’ll be free
Then I can breathe
Then I can breathe.

For Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor…
a memorial exhibition

Rather than issue corporate statements, Works seeks to amplify creative voices calling for justice. We asked artists to thoughtfully respond with work for a community exhibition respecting those who have faced the ultimate deadly disrespect. Since we could not open for an in-person exhibition due to COVID 19, we decided to hold this online exhibit with no closing date. Art could be concrete to abstract, broad or specific in message, but should address this topic with respect for the lives and loved ones of those lost. Our intention was to show every work so long as it fulfills this request.