Brooklyn Resists: Exploring the history of racial protest

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A new initiative traces racial protests in the New York borough, from the beginning of the civil rights era to the present day

This Juneteenth, Brooklyn Public Library’s and Center for Brooklyn History (CBH) launches an initiative tracing racial protests in the New York borough, from the beginning of the civil rights era to the present day. The initiative emerged in response to the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the country’s historical persecution of Black Americans through systematic racism, which continues into the present.

The project launches today with an outdoor exhibition featuring historic texts and images from CBH’s archives, as well as photographs from last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. Future events will encompass exhibitions, events and performances. Drawing on archival and crowdsourced images from the Brooklyn community, it aims to tell the story of the fight against systemic racism through the lens of Black Brooklynites and allies.

The launch of Brooklyn Resists also marks a significant moment in the US’ recognition of Juneteenth. This week, the US officially recognised 19 Juneas a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, after Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday.

“This past summer, Brooklyn became a hub of the national protest movement prompted by the killing of Black people at the hands of police,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, in a statement provided by the organisation “As we have witnessed, our shared histories shape our future, making it critical that we explore the borough’s history of racial protest through the lens of the Brooklynites who lived through, participated in, and documented the ongoing fight for racial equality today.”

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.