ABOVE: Trae Tha Truth and Mayor Sylvester Turner touring the ‘Say Their Names Memorial’ at Emancipation Park
Local rapper Trae Tha Truth and Mayor Sylvester Turner hold press conference to install traveling memorial honoring Black lives lost to racial injustice
All across the country, there continues to be an unfortunate trend of Black people, mostly unarmed, being shot and killed as a result of police brutality, systemic racism and social injustice.
These Black victims, too many to name, are being remembered as part of a traveling memorial that allows their names and memories to never be forgotten.
The ‘Say Their Names Memorial’ is a nationwide grassroots initiative featuring over 200 photos that honors African American victims whose lives were lost to police brutality, systemic racism and social injustice. The memorial was started in Portland, Oregon on Juneteenth 2020 and has been put up in over 25 locations nationwide since then.
This past Monday, the ‘Say Their Names Memorial’ exhibit was officially installed in Houston, thanks in large part to local rapper, activist and philanthropist, Trae Tha Truth, who held a press conference at Emancipation Park to discuss the traveling memorial.
“Everyone can go to Emancipation Park over the next few weeks where you can take your time, pay your respects and show love to all the people who lost their lives due to injustice and police brutality,” said Trae Tha Truth.
Trae Tha Truth was joined by Mayor Sylvester Turner; Ramon Manning, board chairman, Emancipation Park Conservancy; Emily Clarke, Dallas exhibit organizer; and DeRonica Horn, Houston exhibit organizer.
“As the Mayor of Houston and as a person of color, there are so many strong emotions that are evoked by this display of over 200 photos of people who are no longer physically with us,” Mayor Turner said. “For the next 15 days, Emancipation Park will be a place of healing and reflection that will commemorate the lives of those who were taken away from us too soon. It will also serve to inspire all of us to do even more and to do everything we can, such that this memorial won’t continue to grow.”
The ‘Say Their Names Memorial’ group has an ongoing submission driven database where they share names, photos, bios and information with individuals and communities looking to create grassroots memorials in their own neighborhoods. Ultimately, the group’s goal is to get a memorial in every city across the country and facilitate conversation around systemic racism while honoring those whose lives have been taken by it.
“It is fitting that this exhibit will have a temporary home at Emancipation Park for the community to experience,” said Manning, board chairman, Emancipation Park Conservancy. “Amidst the racial unrest and challenges being faced in the African American community, this exhibit provides an opportunity to honor lives lost and start an open dialogue surrounding peaceful social reform in our country.”
The memorial will be open to the public from now through October 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. To learn more about the memorial, visit www.saytheirnamesmemorials.com. Follow the memorial on Instagram at @saytheirnamesmemorial.