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Black Lives Matter, I Can't Breathe, Am I Next?, Black Art, African American Art


"I can't breathe” is a phrase that is all too familiar to us. It takes us back to Eric Garner dying on the streets of New York. This time it was a kneeling on the neck instead of a choke hold, but both cases ended in the needless deaths of two black men. And there are so many more men, women and children who could be named. These deaths are outrageous! The problem is the culture within the police force in this country where policemen have been given free rein to kill black people without cause, and no justice is given in return for these lives that are snuffed out. We need to do a better job of screening out people not cut out to be officers, and they need a different kind of training. However, the problem is much deeper. Systemic racism has existed for years. Our young kids are so afraid that they wonder if they will suffer the same fate at the hands of officers that their fathers, mothers, uncles, brothers, or sisters experienced. Many look at police officers in fear instead of as the people who should protect them. This art piece expresses the unspoken thoughts and fears going through young minds...wondering, "Am I next?" Even if they do not lose their lives, they are robbed of the innocence so precious to childhood. It’s awful that they even have to think in that way.