Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce that June Edmonds' painting Still Saying Her Name, 2020, has been accessioned into the collection of the Crocker Museum of Art in Sacramento, CA. We are grateful to Simon K. Chiu, Chair of the Collections and Acquisitions Committee, and Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator, for making this acquisition possible.
Still Saying Her Name is dedicated to Breonna Taylor, the young EMT who was fatally shot in 2020 by police while sleeping in her own home in Louisville, KY, and by extension to all the Black women who are the victims of police killings. While the deaths of Black men at the hands of police have fueled outrage over police brutality and systemic racism, the names of Black women who have also been killed are generally missing from Americans' collective memories. The Say Her Name campaign and #sayhername hashtag, was created by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum in 2014, and is meant to include women in the national conversation about race and policing.
June Edmonds’ Flag paintings explore the American flag as a malleable symbol of ideals, promises, and identity and create space for the inclusion of multiple identities that consider race, nationality, gender, and political leanings. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present, a current event, or an anecdote from American history. Under-recognized past and living Black Americans serve as inspiration for Edmonds as she investigates the complexities of their stories through the creation of more inclusive symbols for American identity.
The Flag paintings explore the psychological construct of skin color utilizing the primary colors of brown skin tones to build Edmonds's radical propositions: symbols of American identity that not only more accurately reflect the broader changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the country's population but the ideals and promises enshrined in the Constitution. With thick, shifting brushstrokes in rich earth colors organized into columns of varying widths, the flags are oriented vertically, shifting the flag from a strategically designed symbolic object into a portrait of black and brown embodiment—challenging the misrepresentation, capitalization, subjugation, fetishization, policing, disenfranchising, or invisibility of black and brown bodies.
For further information about the #SayHerName report and the African American Policy Forum, please visit www.aapf.org/sayhername.