The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) exhibition “The Forgotten” wall, an addition to the BHERC “Say Their Name” exhibition in Los Angeles, CA., are 57 names of Black men and women identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that succumbed to racial violence between 1952 to 1968. The addition compliments the original special collection of names researched and first installed over the 2020 Independence Day weekend that is presented as a sobering memorial display of 41 individual markers of the names of men and women in memoriam who were killed by police violence in more recent times.
During the opening weekend, hundreds of Angelenos visited the exhibition and voiced their awe and inspiration and in some cases their shock at their lack of knowledge of the many sacrifices that so many people made in the early days of the civil rights movement. Many were unaware of the brutality and senseless killings of both men and women, young and old.
This addition commemorates and acknowledges both the 57th commemorative year of the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” August 28th 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic and historic “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as the 65th anniversary of the death of 14-year old Emmett Louis Till slain August 2th 1955. One did not happen without the other. While there had been many lynching’s and deaths of Black Americans prior to and after Till’s demise, his despot killing sent a clear message of fear that even Black children were not free from bigotry, hate and death. It is a long-held belief that the murder of young Emmet Till was the tipping point and became the icon for the Civil Rights Movement.
BHERC felt compelled to revive and display the 57 names of men and women lost to racial violence. These are names of forgotten souls killed in the light of day for wanting a better life that was the very substance and foundation of Dr. King’s message as he stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial that summer day in August 1963, calling for the civil and economic rights of African Americans and an end to racial persecution. “It is especially fitting because just as Dr. King and the Big Ten’s efforts catapulted the nation towards the 1964 Civil Rights Act—more—and the 1965 Voting Right Act unfortunately there is a new non-violent uprising against killings, racial and economic injustice.” Stated Sandra Ever-Manly, President BHERC. “We add these names so that the young will know them, and the older will remember, as we continue to move towards a more just future!”
The exhibition also features original art renderings by young artist Jareesha Jacobs including one that captures the profiles of the 4 young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963: Addie Mae Collins (14), Cynthia Wesley (14), Carole Robertson (14), and Carol Denise McNair (11) as well as the little known Black teen Virgil Ware (13) slain the same day shot: by a team in the White Segregationist Movement.
Everyone is invited to attend and view. It is open and free to the public during daylight hours thru Sunday, September 27, 2020. The outdoor exhibition is located at 1253 Longwood Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019. All visitors are asked to wear their masks and practice social distancing while viewing the exhibition.
For additional information contact [email protected] or call 213.400.3489. #BHERCStrongTogether