Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies
S.O.S. is social justice/anti-racist activism in art form. It serves as a collection of voices and stories, from people of color, that demand an end to police brutality and state violence that impact communities of color across the country.
This piece of work was adapted from Patrisse Cullors’ play ‘Power from the Mouths of the Occupied’ and re-titled Saving Ourselve (S.O.S.) to bring attention to the epidemic of state-sanctioned violence in black, brown, and low-income communities. This piece will amplify voices and stories from the present that have gone unheard and utilize the historical petition to the U.N., from the Negro people, charging the United States with genocide in 1951. Using this petition as a foundational piece also highlighted the similarities between the events in both generations. This piece will also include raw footage from my experience in Ferguson, music, and poetry in addition to the stories told. The participants in this piece range in age from 70 to 8 years old to further stimulate a cross-generational analysis of how, in many ways, things have not changed.
Every one of our stories are different, yet all are in agreement that myth of the "post-racial" society is a deadly one that upholds white supremacist ideals while scapegoating and, in some cases, “villainizing” the victims of these atrocities. We are living in a country where there are more Black men in prison today, than there were enslaved in 1850. According to the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, every 28 hours a black man or woman is killed by police or vigilante violence. In the words of Assata Shakur, "it is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win."
This anthology will provide a platform for activism and a space for healing as we speak up and out against the systemic oppression of our people and ourselves.
Hester, Ryeasha, "Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.): A spoken anthology of State-on-Black violence" (2015). Honors Theses. 2543.