FREEDOM SUMMER (2020)
The Summer of 2020 in Minneapolis was the catalyst for a nationwide uprising that has seen demands for police abolition normalized in an unprecedented shift from previously popularized calls for reform. Millions of people across the globe watched as video of George Floyd’s murder was played on a constant loop opposite other videos of police assaulting protestors, stores being looted and finally, the defining image of this Freedom Summer, the Minneapolis Third Precinct set ablaze. While this summer seems unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, this is not the Twin Cities’ first time in the eye of the storm. Between the murder of Jamar Clark by Minneapolis Police in November 2015 and the acquittal of the officer who killed Philando Castile in June 2017, dozens of protests were carried out, city council and mayoral seats changed hands and even police chiefs were swapped out.
All outward appearances suggested progress was imminent. We knew better. This uprising has been a long time coming. Black, Brown and Indigenous youth in Minneapolis who have long bore the brunt of this insidiously racist state presenting itself as a Liberal Mecca, have had enough. This Freedom Summer is a reckoning not just for Minneapolis or Minnesota but the entire country. Already we are seeing a collective refusal to simply withstand tear gas and rubber bullet assaults from the police and increasingly more protestors are fighting back. But while the nation shifts its focus to Kenosha, Portland, and elsewhere, remember that the Minneapolis youth who triggered this uprising are still here. And they are determined to create the new world order we all need. Glory to the youth. RIP George Floyd.
Photographic Documentation for historical and archival purposes,
Creative Direciton, Art Direction, Photography, Writing, Research
Creative Direction: Bobby Rogers, Malanda Jean-Claude
Photographer: Bobby Rogers
Production: Fadumo Ali, Kyle Moe
PA: Nolan Mao