NYC artist Sophia Dawson honors mothers who've lost sons to racial violence
Located at 22 East 2nd Street in Lower Manhattan, "Every Mother's Son", a mural by local African-American artist Sophia Dawson, features mothers who have lost their sons to state violence. The seven, separately colored panels include Kadiatou Diallou, Mamie Till, Constance Malcolm, Margarita Rosario, Gwen Carr, Lesley McSpadden, and Iris Baez.
In an interview with New York-based art collective Ideal Glass (who sponsored the work), Dawson explained the message behind the work, as well as all of her works that reflect the black experience in America:
"My art is a tool to bring people from different ethnicities, social statuses, beliefs and backgrounds together, to educate them and to develop a dialogue between them and the characters I depict. I want to highlight the significance of these figures and the relevance of their struggle today. They have been intentionally excluded from mainstream American History and their stories must not be forgotten… I always start working from black, as a conscious artistic exercise but also as a statement: it represents my opposition to the art education I received in institutions where I was taught that art had to begin on a ‘pure and white’ surface."