Say Their Names Memorial Will Debut Exhibition Honoring Black Lives Lost In NYC

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Locals install flowers and 187 portraits of Black people who died at the hands of police or while fighting racial injustices.
Locals install flowers and 187 portraits of Black people who died at the hands of police or while fighting racial injustices.

The Say Their Names Memorial is a national, grassroots initiative rooted in paying homage to the scores of Black people who died by acts of racial injustice. On September 17th, it will debut an augmented reality exhibition in the Seneca Village area of Central Park. More specifically, it will happen on West 85th Street.

Seneca Village was formerly a home to one of the largest Black settlements in America. The exhibit is being produced by the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art. In addition, the Say Their Names Memorial New York will also work with New York Urban League and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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The exhibition is described as an augmented reality experience using digital art, photography and technology. It will feature 50 virtual pedestals holding over 200 photos of Black people who died from racism over the course of two centuries.

“Racial violence has been a distinct part of American history since 1660,” Gaidi Finnie, the executive director of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA), shared in a statement.

“While that violence has impacted every ethnic and racial group in the United States, it has had a particularly horrific effect on African American life ranging from revolts of the enslaved and lynchings to urban uprisings and calculated acts of murder. SDAAMFA is honored to bring this exhibition to New York City and dedicate it to the ongoing fight to end systemic racism.”

Victims who are featured in the memorial include: Emmett Till, Eric Garner, those who died in the mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in May, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Say Their Names Memorials can be found in various cities all across the country.