Check out the art project along the fence adjacent to Railroad Park.
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
The “Say Their Names” Memorial honors black people who have lost their lives at the hands of racist and police violence.
It’s a beautiful and deeply touching installation, with over a hundred men, women and children each represented by a t-shirt with their name on it. It’s a row of t-shirts that stretches the length of the park, and which could easily go on and on.
I'm deeply moved that the citizens of Ashland have been so active in this movement. I’ve met many people who are trying to do the hard work of confronting their own internal biases and becoming anti-racist. Systemic racism is baked into American society, but an anti-racist supports racial equality in all of our institutions and stands up for people subjected to racism. As the writer, Ibram X. Kendi says, “A racist or antiracist is not who we are, but what we are doing in the moment.”
The art project in Railroad Park is one way to keep an important conversation going, and reflect on who we are and what we are doing. I’m hopeful that Ashlanders will indeed keep talking, asking questions and learning. I hope that when confronted with racism, they will act in support of people of color. Sometimes our lives depend on it. It’s fine to start wherever you are and it’s fine to make missteps, as long as you keep stepping.