Saying Their Names
I had been giving away free yard signs in front of my home. I had trouble buying them so had 50 made. Every day, I would replace taken signs at my home and the school fence. The back of one sign was even repurposed as a missing dog poster (they did find the dog).
I was saying their names with a yard sign in my front yard for 2 years. The links above go to each of the 3 phases. I was told by people in the movement to Say Their Names. That's what I did and I also read their stories as I did it. If you would like to do the same, I have put links to legitimate sources. Defining legitimate as Black (when I could), factual, and thoughtful. If you have a better link for someone's name. Please share.
Parents at Gage Elementary had a Black Lives Matter Rally. The signs the kids made were hung on a school fence. Not long after someone walked by tearing them down, very tacky. A parent told me they were avoiding the fence, with their child, after it was ruined.
I made art cards for each poster writing thank you on the back. Tied them to the fence with Maria's help. Occasionally I would walk by and some art cards would be torn down and thrown on the ground like the original posters. I tied them back up or replaced them. Hope some of the kids got their card. Other people also put up signs to replace the kids signs.
I had been giving away free yard signs in front of my home. I had trouble buying them so had 50 made. When I saw that the parents and kids at Gage were doing something on the fence. I brought some free signs down and put them to the far left side of everything. Every day, I would replace taken signs at my home and the school fence. Fairly sure some were being taken and destroyed. The back of one sign was even repurposed as a missing dog poster (they did find the dog).
One day while hanging some replacement art cards on the fence, a car pulled up (kind-of rapidly). A person hopped out and grabbed all the yard signs. I went over feeling friendly. They kept their head down, threw the signs in their trunk and drove off (rapidly again). They looked embarrassed, like they thought they were doing something wrong. In fact, I was the one defacing public property and littering school grounds. Went home feeling good like I had won a round. We were having a conversation, much the way these conversations are held, but a lot less bloody and a lot more suburban. Another time at my house I discovered a little bag of dog poo neatly tied up next to my yard sign. It was such a civilized protest to what I was doing.
Mostly, I saw my signs (and others) being used as intended in the neighborhood. I came to feel better about my neighbors.
I flew the American Flag the whole time I did this. I eventually made magnets of each picture 2.5x3.5" and gave them away at various Hillcrest Walk in Art events. Left some on metal street signs etc... Hope to make the sign, chains, pokers, and sunflowers part of an installation at The Dairy
I want to thank those in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Many are facing more than a tied up bag of poo and an embarrassed neighbor You are heroes, and much needed educators.