Stop Killing Black People
Blackbird Revolt LLC
Concept/Purpose of the Work:
Minneapolis experienced another devastating hit during the middle of the national trial of Derek Chauvin. While our community still grieves the injustice against George Floyd, on April 11th police officer Amy Potter shot and killed Daunte Wright. To inspire healing and unity amongst organizers and protestors, I decided to create typography inspired by the movement, and create messages to unify what we are fighting for. My work is living and breathing on tee shirts, hoodies, posters, and pins that I organized to be distributed for free within my community. Since the murder of Daunte Wright, we continue to see the death of Black people by the hands of police. It is for this reason that every week we (volunteers and I) traveled around the metroplex to various protests and rallies to distribute this free artwork. It initially started with hoodies as a way to keep Brooklyn Center protesters warm and shielded from snow and rain, but since expanded into what our community was requesting. There are numerous examples of how design work is important to the Black movement. It unifies our message and unifies us as a people with uniformity. I raised close to $30,000 to print thousands of these items and distribute them for free. This work was featured on numerous news outlets. “Artists have a very bad habit of being resilient, and it is that resilience that deceives us into believing that the best of it sort of gets done anyhow...” –Toni Morrison
Results of the Work:
After the murder of Duante Wright by Brooklyn Center Police, I organized with friends and community members to raise money for protester supplies such as gas masks, umbrellas, hand warmers, gloves, socks, etc. Understanding that uniformity was important while protesting due to police targeting, it was imperative that we dressed the same– often defaulting to black. As a designer, I felt it was important that we had intentional messaging while protesting for the liberation of Black people against police in the Twin Cities area. I hand crafted typography which read “Stop Killing Black People” and worked with a Duluth screen printer to get the message printed on sweatshirts. I also worked with a local printer to get messages printed on waterproof signs for those at the rallies and protests outside the police station. Using social media and word of mouth, I raised the funds, totally ~$27,000, to pay for the products. Below is an account of the dates we distributed items and how much we raised.
May 25 at George Floyd Square: Raised $4,865.53, passed out 500 “All Power to the People” tees, 100 waterproof signs
May 1 at the Labor Rally: Raised $5,711, passed out 500 “Abolish the Police” tees, 250 waterproof signs, 1400 buttons
April 23 at the Governor's Residence: Raised $10,022.92, passed out 1000 buttons, 250 waterproof signs, 500 “Black Lives Matter” tees, 300 hoodies
April 16 at Brooklyn Center Police Station: Raised $5,940.10, passed out 300 “Stop Killing Black People” hoodies, 200 buttons, 100 waterproof signs
How the Work Was Delivered to the Masses:
Delivered at protests and rallies on apparel, signs, and buttons.
Typography created by Terresa Moses