COUNTING THE DEAD (BLOOD-N-BROTHERS)
ONEMAN / PREACH R SUN
A documented report made by the organization “Malcolm X Grassroots Movement” stated that in “2012 alone, more than 312 Blacks were killed by police and vigilantes at a rate of one person every 28 hours.”
On August 23rd, 2013, I set out to perform the first public exhibition act for the latest chapter of the “ONEMAN” project (Chapter III, “Blood-N-Brothers”). This chapter focused on issues regarding violence in the black community, in particular the growing trend of violence against blacks by police and vigilantes (e.g. the shooting deaths of unarmed teens such as Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis). This particular act, entitled “Counting the Dead,” was performed in front of the 32nd Police Precinct Station House (250 West 135th Street, Manhattan, NY). Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit while blindfolded with an American flag bandana and a large bullseye placard hanging from my neck, I proceeded to count from one to 312. I counted to the tune of children’s nursery rhyme “10 Little Indians”; the words, however, were changed from “Little Indians” to “Dead Niggers.”
“ONEMAN,” a multidimensional/inter-media performance activism project, tackles a vast array of social, cultural and political issues in an effort to pose challenging and provocative questions in regards to truth and freedom and the complex and paradoxical challenges—class, gender, race, conformity, assimilation, indoctrination, socialization, conditioning and social constructionism—one faces when pondering the concept of TRUE FREEDOM.
As representation of Albert Camus’ idea of liberation achieved through the act of becoming so absolutely free that their very existence is an act of rebellion, the work—which intends to push all limits and challenge all paradigms and social boundaries—is a radical expression (action and praxis) of liberation manifested in the personification (and personal journey) of “ONEMAN,” a rebellious individual in desperate pursuit of absolute FREEDOM.