Rest in Power, Trayvon

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Rest In Power Trayvon | by Sara Trail

The murder of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old unarmed teen who was deemed “suspicious” by George Zimmerman for walking through a gated community where his father lived in Sanford, Florida, ignited outrage through America. When I learned that Trayvon was only 14 days older than me I was shook to the core because he could have been me or any of my friends. His death illuminated how society perpetuates a sense of black unbelonging and authorizes and empowers anyone with white skin to violate black citizenship rights through racial profiling and other intrusive forms of surveillance and policing. For 13 years, I quilted the same traditional patterns and followed industry standard, spending thousands of hours refining my craft in the company of quilting mentors. However, in these privileged spaces I began to realize that conversations of social justice were deafeningly absent. No one spoke about Trayvon's death, the protests, or the acquittal of his murderer and I felt like I needed to do something to change that. The "Rest In Power Trayvon" quilt is the first time I mixed my passion for quilting with social justice art, a mix that has made the Social Justice Sewing Academy what it is today. When I combined quilting and social justice I gained a completely new understanding of what it means to quilt with a purpose. This quilt commemorates the life of Trayvon Martin and serves to remind society that as the years pass, his life is not forgotten.

 

Say Their Names 

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Say Their Names | by Sara Trail

Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by a cop. In 2017, police killed 1,129 people and of those killed, 25% were black people. There is tragic loss that surrounds our nation on a daily basis so pervasively that we are all inundated with headlines, hashtags, protests, and social media movements trying to shine light on the injustices that disproportionately impact black Americans. Say their names is borrowed from the social media hashtag, #sayhername, a campaign aimed at bringing attention to the black women’s lives who are often invisible victims of police brutality. I wanted to create something that would outlast the fleeting moment of a hashtag and would instead remain for years to come. Like a page in a history book, this hand appliquéd quilt of names will be here forever and stand in remembrance of the innocent black women, men, and children whose lives were lost unjustly.