Today, Levine Museum of the New South opens the exhibit, ‘K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace.’ At the media event this week, museum president Kathryn Hill said, “’K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace’ is one of the nation’s first exhibits to explore police-involved killings and their aftermath in communities across the country and Charlotte.”
Originally, this exhibit had been planned for 2018, but Hill said that it was fast-tracked after the events in the fall.
The photographs are at the heart of this exhibit. Alvin C. Jacobs Jr., a Charlotte photographer, has followed the protests in Charlotte, Ferguson, Baltimore and New York. Jacobs captures protesters and family members when they are in moments of crisis, pain and joy. These photographs tell a story about what is happening in America right now.
He said, “To me, my job was to begin documenting what a lot of the mothers were going through, what a lot of our brothers and sisters and cousins and uncles and family and friends and people we have never even met before are going through. I am not the best writer. I’m not the best speaker, but I can take a decent photograph. ”
The exhibit is a self-led tour through several rooms, with each room featuring a different topic or theme. It begins with a timeline of historical events that have shaped schools, housing and policing within the United States. There are photographs, video, an interactive map and storyboards with historical data, personal quotes and lengthy descriptions throughout the display.
“Lives Beyond the Hashtag,” a showcase within the exhibit, was created by a Johnson C. Smith University class lead by their assistant professor of history, Tiffany Packer. In 2013, Packer was deeply affected by the killing of Jonathan Ferrell.
“That story moved me in a particular way and I got a vision of how we can bring life and humanize Jonathan Ferrell for the public and as a way to honor his family,” said Packer.
The students in her public history class worked together to tell the stories behind more than a dozen people killed by police through photographs, personal items and testimony from family and friends.
During the September protests in Charlotte, 30 windows were broken at Hyatt House, a hotel located in uptown. The glass was temporarily replaced with plywood. Within 24 hours, the hotel manager invited the artist community to use the plywood as a canvas to express themselves. Several of these murals are part of the exhibit.
Bank of America’s Charlotte market president, Charles Bowman said, “In 24 hours, we had some very colorful and interesting murals that really depicted what had gone on, but also looking forward to issues of hope and unity and accountability.”
-Exhibit runs Feb. 17 – Oct. 22, 2017.
-Museum tickets are $8 for adults, $5, ages 6-18.
-Exhibit has sensitive information and is recommended for high school students and older.
-Plan an hour or two to view the exhibit.
Levine Museum of the New South: 200 E. 7th St.
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Photos: Alvin C. Jacobs Jr., Levine Museum of the New South, Vanessa Infanzon