In Wake of Trayvon Martin Shooting, A Photographic Call to Action at MoCADA

Outdoor art installation examines racial profiling in the 'Age of Obama.'

In the weeks immediately after at the hands of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, , or "hoodie," drew plenty of attention from those looking to categorize the Florida teen as being part of an urban "thug" culture with little or no respect for authority.

The image also provoked a massive response from those who saw the image as feeding into a stereotype with deep consequences for young people of color, who on average are more likely to be a victim of a violent crime and of being in a stop-and-frisk encounter with police.

Recently, the unveiled a series of five photographs alongside their building on S. Portland Avenue in an effort to examine the images associated with racial profiling in the wake of Martin's death in February.

"People were very emotional afterwards, but over time they became distracted. We wanted to keep the conversation going," said MoCADA founder and executive director Laurie Cumbo. "Having it on the window forces people to still reconcile how they feel about it.”

The exhibit began with a call for artists looking to channel the rhetoric over Martin's tragic death into a meaningful conversation about race in a Obama post-racial age. 

The result is a powerful set of photos by Dwayne Rodgers, Malik Cumbo, Russell Frederick, Jahse and Radcliffe Roye that feature black and Latino subjects from all walks of life, from a middle school teacher to a community activist to an emergency room doctor.

"It was very important to show people that the type of clothing someone wears cannot be an indicator to determine if someone is going to do something or cause harm or danger to someone," Cumbo said. 


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