1.5 Million Missing Black Men
One in every six black men in the 24-54 age group in America has disappeared from civic life because they have died young or are locked away in prison, states the New York Times newspaper. As a mother, the sorrow for the lost potential of a life is overwhelming.
Unarmed black men and boys have been shot or maimed by police and these altercations are routinely captured on video. The presumption of criminality and poverty are risk factors for men of color.
A shrinking labor market for low skilled workers, racial discrimination and sanctions that prevents millions who have criminal convictions from getting jobs, has led to a surge in imprisonment. This has also has stigmatized blackness itself, so that black men and boys must fight the presumption of criminality in encounters with police, schools, on the streets and in employment.
Mothers must teach their sons how to act in the presence of police to prevent fanatical action or brutality on the part of law enforcement.
My installation is to honor those who have been overzealously accosted by the police, and the grief of mothers for their sons. Black clothing, a picture of Mary, a traditional image of the Mother of God, a candle and a bloom for hope are displayed.
Barbara Stubbs, Tampa, Florida, USA
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