Timeline Unveiled to Honor Juneteenth


By Staff Reports

Say Their Names, a public art project, is an artistic expression of history we must remember and never forget. It is a 4-foot-tall, 22-foot-wide timeline depicting a legacy of struggle for respect, humanity and justice. Say Their Names documents the atrocities of racial terror and showcases artistic responses paying tribute to the many voices heard throughout history.

The exhibition opens in Hillsborough at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 18, during the weekend celebration of Juneteenth and will be held on the front lawn of the Hillsborough Visitors Center, the historic Alexander Dickson House, 150 E. King Street in Hillsborough. The exhibition will be reinstalled for the Last Friday Art Walk in Hillsborough on June 25.

The Say Their Names timeline spans from 1619 to 2021 and includes the names and stories of many people affected by racial violence, as well as artistic responses, from the first poem published by an African American, Phillis Wheatley in 1773, through the Harlem Renaissance, to contemporary poets Fred Joiner, poet laureate of Carrboro, and Jaki Shelton Green, poet laureate of North Carolina.
The project is a collaboration among four local artists: Renee Price, co-founder of Free Spirit Freedom; Fred Joiner, poet laureate of Carrboro; Mike Ogle, journalist; and Donn Young, photographer. The art project was funded by an artist grant from the Orange County Arts Commission and produced in collaboration with Free Spirit Freedom.

“Through the arts, we can address the trauma of racism, bridge cultural and ethnic divides, and cultivate a community of understanding and harmony.” … Renée Price

“Art can help change a person’s consciousness. Art encourages people to think, express and be creative – the essence of education.” … Donn Young

“In a sense, Say Their Names is a historical timeline. More broadly, it connects through centuries some of this nation’s ugly racial violence, dating from 1619 to 2021. What we see now in the news and on the streets is nothing new. It’s important to recognize there have been many named and unnamed victims throughout American and North Carolina history that we failed to reckon with or even remember. Likewise, there has been a strong, proud history of artistic, cultural, political and movement responses to injustice throughout those centuries, some of which is chronicled as well.”…Mike Ogle, Stone Walls

For more information, please contact Renée Price, reneeprice2012@gmail.com.

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