Art-Marking As Direct Action
There are few opportunities for black and brown youth in Cleveland. Cleveland is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s second most populous. It is also one of the most economically depressed and racially segregated urban areas in the United States.
Beyond the downtown skyline lined with NBA Championship banners, you see over-policed neighborhoods with and abandoned houses everywhere. Here, nearly 20% of teens have attempted suicide. The high schools look like prisons and the juvenile detention center has the façade of an entertainment complex. Under these conditions, black and brown youth are denied freedom of expression and freedom of thought.
While navigating the complex issues of systematic racism, poverty, and state violence is difficult for everyone, this is exceedingly true for youth, who often do not have the historical knowledge, coping skills, or benefits of being able to have open, honest dialogue.
[S w/o B] is an arts-based movement that assists black and brown teens to process complex social problems experienced by them and provides a radical expressive platform for them to inform and impact juvenile justice related reform.
In pursuance of centralizing the voices of young people in reform processes, [S w/o B] hosts pop-up art exhibitions, talks and events that highlight the creativity of teens that are silenced in public decision-making processes and empowers them to combat social injustices through artistic expression.
[S w/o B] is the brain-child of activist artist and youth advocate, Amanda King, JD.