In 2013, three radical Black organizers: Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors, created a Black-centered political movement project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman. This is a portrait of those women.
This portrait takes the symbology of the “red, white and blue” of the United State’s flag and replaces it with the three women depicted in red, “black” and blue not only to humanize the nation that the flag represents but to replace the “white” in America with the preeminence of black women power. (It was around 2020 at the creation of this piece that police officers began to replace red stripes of the US flag with blue in response to the Black Lives Matter movement with “blue lives matter” slogans)
The imagery above the women’s heads displays beautiful, organic power innate to nature herself, imbuing the women with strength for their mission.
Overall the image is intended to be read right to left as is the Hebrew language. Beneath Patrisse (Far Right) the imagery pertains to an unraveling and revitalization of urban environments, leading to a release of creative energy into the local environment. She wears the robes of a priestess and tucked below her chin are “amber waves of grain” which supersede pipes that dump pollution into the ocean. Beneath Opal (middle) are “purple mountains majesty” and “sea to shining sea” (lyrics from America the Beautiful) all of which depict a coming revolution for the fulfillment of this prophetic song. Her hair drips with the gold of prosperity. Beneath Alicia (Left) is an arid desert. Yet, through creativity and innovation, there is still prosperity, safety, and environmental restoration available as the fruit of the work sown in the Black Lives Matter movement.
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