As we commemorate 60 years since the sit-in demonstrations, led by university students and youth members of the NAACP across the country and in Jacksonville, we also remember the violent white-led backlash on August 27, 1960 that erupted in our city and became known as Ax Handle Saturday. It was a pivotal moment in the march towards desegregation in a community ripe with racism and ready for change. This powerful history is especially poignant at this moment of national reckoning following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the constant drumbeat of violence and oppression against Black people in America.
The tradition of political posters is a rich one and whether plastered on brick walls, carried in marches, or distributed to storefronts, posters have informed process, incited change, motivated progress, and made visible the voice of the people. This exhibition invited artists across our community to respond to the current calls for racial justice and recognize the historic importance of the sit-in demonstrations and violent backlash that was Ax Handle Saturday, the 60th anniversary of which will be commemorated in late August. We will continue to add submissions to this visual record during the summer and fall, so check back often. If you would like to submit a poster, you can find out more about that process HERE.
Magic, Mirth, and Mortality:
Musings on Black Motherhood
Joy. Fear. Guilt. Generational connection. Grief. Deep love. These are only a few of the complex emotions experienced by all mothers. ‘Magic, Mirth, and Mortality: Musings on Black Motherhood’ is an exhibition inspired by the lived experiences of writer Shawana Brooks and the ‘motherhood musings’ written and shared during her pregnancy and an extended stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her words are shown alongside visual art by Tatiana Kitchen, Marsha Hatcher, and Cheryl McCain.