Black Lives Matter

After having painting several portraits of people how had been killed by the police, in police custody or through racially motivated murders I wanted to further give a homage to the people who are out in the streets protesting. At the time I am posting this the protests are still ongoing, but the focus has shifted both in the news and seemingly also on social media.

My aim with these images was to shine a light on the peaceful protesters, as most of them are just that: peaceful. I also wanted to focus on the human element, and why we should all be supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. It resulted in a series of three images painted in a limited colour palette, which I imagined could be used in an article.

A little Black girl standing in front of a group of people in the Black Lives Matter protest holding a sign saying 'Don't shoot'.
Media: Digital.

There are many photos showing the signs used by the protesters, including “Don’t shoot”. I don’t know about you all, but I find it horrible to think that many people are living in a constant fear of being shot or killed, and it’s even worse that they fear that they’ll get shot and killed by the police.

Three children standing in front of a crowd holding up signs which read 'When do I go from cute to dangerous?', 'Black Lives Matter' and 'Stop killing us!'.
Media: Digital.

The signs I have used in this series of images are based on signs I have seen in the photos from the protests. I found it really powerful seeing little kids with these signs, something I wanted to capture in my illustrations. I also wanted to show that it isn’t just Black people who are protesting, though my focus is still on the Black community as they are the ones experiencing much of the police brutality and racism which has sparked the protests.

A Black family holding up their fists, a sign of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Media: Digital.

Many of the people filmed by media from the Black Lives Matter protests tend to be young adults and adults. However, there are also several families who participate, though obviously might not be able to walk as far due to tired toddlers and children. The fact that people young and old, and of all skin tones are taking part has to show that it is time for a change!

If you are interested in knowing how you can help, check out what places are taking donations, what petitions you can sign, but also please have a look at the different learning resources available. It is 2020, equality should have been something which we didn’t need to fight for now, and the onus isn’t on the black community or other minority groups, it is something we all need to stand up for. This isn’t a political issue, it’s a human rights issue.