Imperial Beach is the most southwestern city in the United States of America. The city sits on the US/Mexico border, wraps around the Tijuana Estuary, and rests at the end of the San Diego Bay. IB has its own community of diverse people, many of whom are well acquainted.. There is an unspoken "we share this place" culture in the undeniably unique city. Some knew IB when Grocery Outlet was a movie theater and when WestCoast Cafe was home of the best french toast in town. Us locals have had the opportunity to feel like we are in our own world where the heat hits us last, the beach has plenty of room to dance alone to the sound of the waves, and everything you need is almost within walking distance.
Prejudice isn't something the people of IB are excluded from experiencing. Conversations about intolerable treatment are happening all over the world in 2020, and locals have something to say about it. In moments of oppression, standing in silence isn't an option. This mural is a chance to make people aware that racism isn't and never will be welcomed in Imperial Beach, the last beach city of its kind.
Gianna Floyd is George Floyd's daughter. Gianna's face seemed fit to be displayed on the featured wall of the building as a representation for the resilience of Black children. When one person is lost at the hands of police brutality, they are a sister, or a brother, or a mother, or a father, or an aunt, or an uncle, or a friend. The history of Black people contains a consistent narrative of using pain as motivation to make change. Gianna is a warrior every day she lives passed the loss of her father.
The Palms: The plants represent life and being guarded by our mother earth. A reminder that our experiences on this earth are of this earth, and spirit is infinitely larger.
The Red: Death, bloodshed. Directed at her as a representation of Black people being targeted.
The Green: Life, health. Shielding Gianna from the red, offering protection.
The Ring Statistics: Outer Ring - 13% of US population is Black Inner Ring- 1/3 of the prison population is Black Center Ring - Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police
The Children:The awareness of our experiences of being different because of what we look like starts early. Many black parents must have "if you get stopped by the police" talk with their kids, and it's an important one that could save children's lives. The faces of two children were chosen because children represent resilience. The also represent joy. They look in the direction of the next wall, which has a theme of joy, to inspire them to be whatever they choose. Too often the black narrative revolves around suffering and pain. This corner hopes to inspire more conversations about black joy and black resilience.
The White Symbols: Although the white symbols look like they mean something on this wall, they are playful shapes inspired by African Kuba patterns.
The Figures: Much representation of black people in the media isn't reflective of who we really are. This wall is a reminder that we are more than we are assumed to be. There is an immense variety in our culture. Some of us are soccer players, some of us love yoga, some of us meditate, some of us have children or are expecting, some of us have tech jobs, some of us are professional swimmers, some of us love reading, some of us are planning for life with a partner, some o us love plants, some of us pay video games, some of us love vegetables. To name a few! I hope that anyone who looks at this wall sees a piece of themselves. It helps us to remember than when we lose a person to police brutality, we lose a person just like us.
The White Symbols: This wall is also inspired by Kuba Patterns but makes reference to Keith Haring, who does a lot of work with figures similar to the ones used for this wall. On the left side, letters are hidden in the symbols: SLFDFND. This can be "self defined" or "self defend."
The Hands: This wall is all about community. People from different parts of San Diego came to the wall and picked between the 5 colors we use used for the walls. The hand prints represent unity and support as we move forward and anticipate change for the future. Adult hands and kids handprints are included on this wall. Hand prints are continuously added to this wall.