December 4, 2006
January 1, 2009
May 16, 2010
February 26, 2012
August 9, 2014
November 22, 2014
April 19, 2015
July 6, 2016
June 1, 2016
These are the date that parents of black children had to unwillingly come to the realization that their babies were never coming home. It was December 4, 2006 (the day of the Gena 6), when I learned that I was black, being born in this skin, it never came to my mind that my skin was hated. This is the day I asked my mother why are black people hated. I remember I could hear my mother praying that night, praying for my protection, for God to place his shield over me so that no harm would be done too me.
As the years went on, she gained this fear of letting me out of her sight, but understandably had no choice but to let me go, grow, and explore. June 1, 2016, Deontae Mitchell was found dead in the field behind Kettering High School, devastated, I started to think about the mother of Deontae, and all of the other black kids who lost their life. This thought formed the idea to start having conversations with black mothers about their fear for their children, but to also prompt, collect, an archive handwritten prayers from black mothers.
Over the time of this process I collected a total of 18 prayers from black mothers asking god for protection over their child(ren) but also collected a service of comments, and questions that these mothers would ask this child(ren) before they would leave their sight. Thinking about how heavy religion is tied to this work, and to the relationships between black mothers, and their child(ren) I also formed a four panel mixed media piece that asked the question “Who Prays For The Black Boy”
On Display at Root & Culture in Chicago IL Sep 2018 (Ashé, Before You Leave the House, O.A.M.B.C. , Just A Little While)
“…In Your Name” 2017 - Ongoing
Who Prays For The Black Boy Who Has Lost His Way, Who Has No One To Go To Cray To Cover The Black Boy Protect The Black Boy Help Him Grow (2017)