The words and music of Bobbie O'Connor's Screams Echo, a story about the generational trauma caused by the history and prevalence of lynching, inspired me to create a new body of work about the spaces left behind when a black male is murdered unjustly. In O'Connor's story the fictional lynching of Charlie, a young boy whose unchecked affection irrevocably led to his death, the economic lynching of Daddy who was denied an opportunity to create a better life for his family, and the recollection of the real, modern-day lynching of Trayvon Martin, a teenager who simply wanted to be left alone, remind me that in this country...life is about access. It reminds me of the lengths to which those who have even the smallest perception of power will submit to, to limit, or eliminate African-Americans access to progress. It is an unnerving and relentless practice that has affected the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being of not only the men in this story but also the women that they leave behind. These women, mothers, grandmothers, and daughters, continue to exist in the spaces that these men once occupied.
This body of work highlights the stories of the women of Screams Echo - Granny, and her granddaughters Rita, Frances, and Simone, each living with the physical and emotional trauma passed on through generations of witnessing these physical and psychological lynchings of the men they know and love.