A new museum exhibit honoring Sandra Bland has gone on display in Texas just in time for Black History Month. The Houston Museum of African-American Culture’s exhibit, which opened Saturday, celebrates the life of the woman who was found dead in a Texas jail cell three days after a controversial police traffic stop in 2015.
The exhibit, which tells Bland’s story partly through photographs, is like a walk through time for Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland’s mother, according to KTRK-TV. “You come out of this room and have a mix of happiness and sadness at the same time,” she said. “People seeing this exhibit should say to themselves hold on, I’m going to think a little differently about the way I do things — with my interactions with everyone but more so police officers.”
A central piece of the exhibit is a makeshift car to watch the video of the traffic stop that escalated to an arrest. “We hope this exhibition will bring our multicultural audience to a better understanding of the fear African Americans have toward encounters with the police,” John Guess, the museum’s CEO who also curated the exhibit, told Houston Style Magazine.
Art is an effective medium to express the pain, anger and resolve to end police violence against innocent Black lives. Here are some other examples of how art has been used for those purposes.
This is from Rudy Shepherd’s We Are All Trayvon Martin collection.
The gazebo in a Cleveland playground where a cop shot 12-year-old Tamir within seconds was dismantled and reassemble for display at the Stoney Island Arts Bank in Chicago.
Artists painted murals to honor Sterling, who was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge.
A painting of Castile by Henry Taylor was on exhibit at the Whitney Museum for an extended period. It captured the moment when a Minnesota officer shot Castile during a traffic stop.