This freestanding piece is the first sculpture of Armstead’s Sankofa_ series, which samples traditional patterns of Tiebele house paintings by women artists that predate the triangular transatlantic slave trade. The public sculpture celebrates Africans, their diaspora, and today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
It also acts as a memorial dedicated to Emmett Till, Tanisha Anderson, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, among the many who have been lynched in America. Each of the works in the series is inspired by the word “Sankofa,” which means “go back and get it” in Twi language.

Commissioned for the location by the Department of Transportation and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, the artwork is composed of 10-foot tall hand-cut aluminum plates and is painted with shoe polish.

See more of Armstead’s work on his website.

Plan Your Vote