• Payton K.

Deeper Than Skin- Lives Lost To Racism

Updated: Jan 13



For this project, I researched a few people who faced discrimination so cruel most of them died. Once I finished researching, I wrote a poem about the victims and the need for peace. To present it, there is a video of all of the victims with the poem as a voiceover. The goal of this piece was to recognize the effects of racism and discrimination while promoting a need for change and unity. I am most proud of the fact that this project addresses a current issue and sends a message for the need for equality.


Deeper Than Skin
.mp4
Download MP4 • 27.83MB

Deeper Than Skin Poem:


Will you, will you

March in the street

Where he took his last breath

Under a cop's knee

Bad things have happened here

If only they could see

Deeper than our skin

To our identity


Will you, will you

March in the street

Where she hit the ground

For being chary

Bad things have happened here

If only they could see

Deeper than our skin

To our identity


Will you, will you

March in the street

Where his last memories

Were of pain and battery

Bad things have happened here

If only they could see

Deeper than our skin

To our identity


Will you, will you

March in the street

Where he wanted to jump

But was shot carefree

Bad things have happened here

If only they could see

Deeper than our skin

To our identity


Artist Statement:

This piece is a video featuring a poem I wrote, as well as images of those it is about. My work is rhythmic, deep, witty, and communicates a message related to racial injustices in today’s society. I was inspired by the poem The Hanging Tree, featured in the book Mockingjay, as well as the All Lives Matter movement. My video tells the stories of four people unjustly assaulted or killed by police. This video is to show people that even the people we are supposed to trust, the police, don't always trust us because of our race, gender, or other identifying factors.


My hope is that viewers will think about the issues related to discrimination and want to help fix it. If we can educate the next generation so they feel like they want to be better than those before them, then maybe the world will be a safer place. All I am trying to do with my video is educate people about what happens so they can’t keep turning a blind eye and pretending it doesn’t happen.



The choices I made were focused on creating the biggest impact on the viewers.

For example, I chose to put some images in black and white because I felt that would make it feel sadder and make the coloured images stand out more, allowing them to create more of an impact. The layout of my work allows for it to connect to several different senses. The poem allows them to hear my message and is supported by the images I chose. Taking in the images of what happened gives the viewer a clear idea of what I am talking about, as well as makes them feel upset or uncomfortable because of the graphic imagery. This gives them a reason to want to change what's happening because they are now emotionally invested. Other details I added were the faces and names of each victim, so the viewers will remember who they are, and the birth and death dates of each victim, so the viewers will get an idea of how old each victim was, as well as how recent each attack was. For my final choice, I decided to entitle my video and poem Deeper Than Skin because I wanted that to be the main message taken away from my work. The fact that there is so much more to a person than their skin.



24 views0 comments