After a year of extreme cases of police brutality, graphic video recordings, and increased protests around the nation, the Back Lives Matter movement has become one of the most significant phases in the push for civil rights in America. The National African American History Museum director, Lonnie Bunch, decided to document the nationwide protest movement by focusing on the art and photography coming from the movement itself.
Some of the people featured in the upcoming exhibit have been making outstanding art that is reflective of the movement’s anti-police brutality ideology. The collection includes work from Baltimore-based photographer Devin Allen whose work was featured on the cover of the May 11 issue of TIME Magazine. Allen was active during the Baltimore protests that occurred after Freddie Gray’s funeral during the last week of April.
“When I first saw the news of what happened to [Freddie Gray], I knew I was going to cover it,” Allen, who usually shares his street photography on Instagram, told TIME. “But I never thought it would get this big. My city kind of has a bad rap, but I thought if we can come together peacefully, it [would] be epic for this city, and it was my goal to capture that.”
Allen’s work has made him a renowned photographer in just a few months. His work has went viral and his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement has become an essential part of history.
The collection will also include the protest signs of native St. Louis activist and artist, Darian Wigfall, who has been working as an activist for five years now. He followed his father’s footsteps and became an activist after hearing about his dad’s run-ins with police during 1960s protests.
“Knowing that racism is intertwined in the fabric of our American society, I feel like if we’re not working to change that, we’re not doing ourselves justice if we’re really trying to have a ‘more perfect Union’ as the constitution says,” explains Wigfall to the Smithsonian Magazine.
The work of artist Patrick Campbell will also be featured in the new museum. His work “New Age of Slavery,” went viral on social media for his striking use of silhouettes of lynched bodies on the blood red stripes of the American flag according to the Smithsonian Magazine.
There isn’t any word if the exhibition will showcase the work of prominent female Black artists like Chicago’s Ashley A. Woods, whose work honoring the victims of police brutality went viral on Tumblr.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture will open sometime in Fall 2016 and the works mentioned will be part of “1968 and Beyond: A Changing America” exhibition.