Racial Justice Poster Project
Honoring March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
In observance of March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we are sharing Akonadi Foundation’s 2021 Racial Justice Poster, We Got Us, by lead artist Cece Carpio with with Robert Liu-Trujillo, Nisha Kaur Sethi, and Priya Handa and Trust Your Struggle Collective.
Akonadi Foundation distributed our first Racial Justice poster in 2008 to commemorate March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day honors the Sharpeville massacre on March 21, 1960, when the South African anti-apartheid movement rose up in resistance against `pass’ laws. As part of the government’s efforts to segregate and control Black South Africans, these laws required Black South Africans to carry passbooks, or identity cards, at all times. On this day in the Sharpeville township, as movement leaders, elders, and children gathered in peaceful protest, police opened fire and killed 69 people, including 10 children.
Through the Racial Justice Poster Project, we want to lift up the legacy of resistance, paying tribute to the artistic and cultural ambassadors engaged in the ongoing struggle for racial justice.
As artists, this is how we protest. This is how we know how to give radical love for the Black communities whose call for racial justice is directly tied to ours, acknowledging that their fight paved the way for us to be here to fight.”-Cece Carpio
As an immigrant woman in this country, the Black Liberation Movement has paved the path for the Third World diaspora to be here. Oakland, the home that birthed the Black Panther Party, holds a legacy that has been an inspiration to many of us in our own fight for equity. It is important for us to show our stand of solidarity to defend Black Lives in our communities.
I called up artist friends along with our collective, Trust Your Struggle, to paint boarded-up businesses downtown to create images of unity and solidarity. “We Got Us” is one of a dozen murals we painted in the course of two weeks during the racial reckoning and uprising in the summer of 2020. This mural was created with Robert Liu-Trujillo, Nisha Kaur Sethi, and Priya Handa and Trust Your Struggle Collective.
Downtown Oakland became an outdoor exhibition–the plywood boards on business window fronts were the best canvasses to show solidarity with the Black community. If we create images that bring attention to what needs to be changed and the world we want to see, those images will be soaked in people’s consciousness.
As artists, this is how we protest. This is how we know how to give radical love for the Black communities whose call for racial justice is directly tied to ours, acknowledging that their fight paved the way for us to be here to fight. These are all works in progress, as we are in progress to dismantle white supremacy. We want to show that we’re stronger together and that we are here to fight.
In solidarity and through this fire, we will rise.