THE BLACK HISTORY MUSEUM
The Black History Museum According to the United States of America explores the fraught relationship between Black Americans and the criminal justice system by examining how black history is presented in schools and the media. The performance takes the form of a theatrical museum exhibit featuring different “lessons” about black history. Black History Museum grew out of the town hall meetings held after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri along with controversy around #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter movements. Bringing up issues including the militarization of the police, dehumanization of African American's in the media, the economic marginalization of black communities and will explore why and how these issues continue from one generation to the next. The piece will go up at HERE and will use the entire space ( dressing rooms, hallways, cafe area, sidewalk space outdoors, and the two theatre spaces.)
According to the FBI’s most recent accounts of “justifiable homicide,” in the seven years between 2005 and 2012, a white officer used deadly force against a black person almost two times every week. Of those black persons killed, nearly one in every five was under 21 years of age. Brown was at least the fifth unarmed black man to be killed by police that month. These numbers are likely underestimates, as police departments self-report these statistics, and only 750 of the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States participated.
Nationally, African Americans are arrested three times more frequently than their white counterparts, although African Americans make up only 12 percent of the population. The Black History Museum According to the United States of America takes a deeper look into why this cycle keeps happening by examining how African American children are taught their history and identity in the United States. The project uses art, music, theater and poetry to guide audiences through the black American experience.