Black Women Brutalized By Cops Are Subject Of New Lincoln Park Exhibit

By Kate Shepherd in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 18, 2015 7:15PM

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via Blood and Root

The 2012 killing of Rekia Boyd by off-duty Chicago police detective Dante Servin and Servin's subsequent acquittal for Boyd's death sparked protests and attracted national attention.

Boyd and other black female victims of police violence are the focus of a new exhibit "Blood at the Root: Unearthing the Stories of State Violence Against Black Women" at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church in Lincoln Park. The timing is perfect given the national attention to Sandra Bland, who recently died under questionable circumstances in police custody.

The exhibit, which opened Aug. 14 and runs through October, tells the stories of black women who have been brutalized, imprisoned and killed by the police.

"In thinking about the stories we hear of people dying in police custody, there is a significant lack of stories about black women," exhibit co-curator Rachel Caidor told DNAinfo.

The co-curators hope that the exhibit will encourage people to remember female victims who do not garner as much publicity as their male victims of police violence, like Michael Brown or Emmett Till.

"These names have gone largely unnoticed and unspoken," co-curator Ayanna Banks Harris told DNAinfo. "Whenever we encourage people to 'Say Her Name' it forces people to realize that there is a forgotten bunch."

Events to raise awareness will be held in coordination with the exhibit. Love & Protect—a local group currently dedicated to helping Paris Knox, a victim of domestic abuse serving a 40-year prison sentence for killing her boyfriend—will hold a letter-writing event to offer notes of support to Knox and other incarcerated women. Community quilting project Gone But Not Forgotten will hold quilting circles across the city to sew quilts that look like the Chicago flag featuring the names and dates of death of police violence victims.

Holy Covenant United Methodist Church is located at 925 W. Diversey Parkway. The exhibition is open to the public Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 5 p.m.-7 p.m.