Artist Sylvia Maier Honors Brave Black Mothers Of Police Fatalities

Maier commends mothers who are living victims, in living without their children.

Constance Malcolm

In 2012, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, started a national support group for mothers who lost their children at the hands of police officers called Circle of Mothers. The network gives these women a place to grieve, to recover, and to ultimately fight for a world where mothers are not made to have their children taken away from them by those who are supposed to protect them. Fulton told Essence magazine in 2014, “I pray for strength for any mother. I pray for healing. I would just hope that she could return to the life that she had before because it’s very difficult. It’s like you’re missing an arm or leg or something and then you’re supposed to still function without it. You have to really push yourself to say, yes, I can do this! I can keep living!”

Sybrina Martin

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin. Her son was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in Sanford, Florida, on Feb. 26, 2012. (source)

Sylvia Maier’s upcoming exhibition, “The Circle of Mothers Project”, is a series of oil paintings depicting these brave women who became heroines for a cause they never expected to fight for. About her project, Maier had this to say: “There were so many moms, that was what really shocked me. They could wrap around a city block many times over. I want to show that there is a huge crisis in our community, where women are mourning their children. It’s not a political thing. It’s a human thing. I want the mother in Westchester to relate to these images as much as the mother in The Bronx.”

In each painting, Maier attempts to exemplify each woman’s spirit, creating images that are bold and in alignment with their tragic stories – stories that should not be allowed to fade away. Maier also creates an uncomfortable juxtaposition between the inexplicable discrimination faced by each victim and the values America wishes to be known for by rendering each woman’s face against the outline of a coin.

Kadiatou Diallo

Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo. Her son was unarmed when four police officers shot and killed him on February 4, 1999. (source)

Maier’s message about the convoluted presence liberty has in America is an important one: “Their children were denied liberty just because of the way they looked in a racist society. It’s not just prejudice when it infringes on someone’s rights to live and be happy and pursue an education. It’s hypocritical to see those words on a coin. Does it mean ‘liberty for all’? What makes people think only some of us deserve liberty?”

Photo source.

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