Chicago artist Ashley A. Woods created these portraits as a submission for an upcoming comic book anthology called APB: Artists Against Police Brutality.
Her collection honors recent victims of police violence through warm, humanizing images. She also gives context for the ways in which each was killed.
Editors Bill Campbell, John Jennings, and Jason Rodriguez are putting together the anthology and according to the Rosarium Publishing's website:
We've all seen the pictures. A six-year-old Ruby Bridges being escorted by U.S. marshals on her first day at an all-white, New Orleans school in 1960. A police dog attacking a demonstrator in Birmingham. Fire hoses turned on protesters. Martin Luther King Jr. addressing a crowd on the National Mall. These pictures were printed in papers, flashed across television screens, and helped to change the laws of this Nation…but not all of the attitudes.
We've all seen the pictures. Michael Brown lying face down in a pool of his own blood for hours. Protesters with their hands up, facing down militarized policemen. We've also seen the videos. Eric Garner choked to death. John Crawford III shot down in Walmart for carrying a toy gun. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice gunned down in broad daylight for the same reason.
This time, the pictures and videos aren't doing much to change things; if anything, they are a repeated reminder of how worthless black and brown lives are to the justice system. So we need conversations to go along with the pictures, and we're sending out an APB to artists and writers to help jump start those conversations.
APB: Artists against Police Brutality is a comic book anthology with one primary goal: show pictures and tell stories that get people talking. We are looking for artists across the disciplines to lend their talents and critical eye for this artistic examination of the US justice system and its treatment of communities of color. We are looking for personal stories, biographies, sociopolitical and historical analysis that shed a light on shared experiences across these communities, not just to act as an echo chamber, but to be used to change minds outside of these communities.
Here is Woods' series:
You can find more of Woods' work via her website, Tumblr, and blogspot.