Rejeana V Black
70 X 7, (2020)
I use photography and video to interrogate histories of racism, police violence and educational inequity in Los Angeles County, CA. My process prioritizes oral tradition to reclaim ethnographic histories of our African American communities through documenting personal anecdotes. The road to end this perpetual trauma is by first reclaiming our stories for ourselves, and sharing it with the rest of the Diaspora. I research and examine textbooks, the media, and our educational system to address the multigenerational trauma that has been perpetuated on African Americans since the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, specifically focusing on the Los Angeles County region and the violence found in the history of the LAPD. My current project involves interviewing Black fathers in my community with a range of perspectives, from ex-cons to retired cops to ask their personal relationships and emotional responses to local enforcement as well as their position to the concept of police still being essential in the United States. I weave these interviews together to the shared unconscious behavior to law enforcement caused by personal/collective trauma we have faced as African Americans in the history of this country in association to its anti-black terrorism, while juxtaposing selected personal archival video and audio to honor the joy found in Black “Angelino” pride, resiliency and culture.
From black lynchings documented on postcards nationwide in the twentieth century, to the hundreds of videos on social media of black people being killed by police and others… Where does our trauma end? Living in a world where you are constantly seen as a threat as a person of color, yet a king within your own home, how does one still stand so resiliently in this climate of daily violence?…. Through the strength of family.
Rejeana V. Black