WITHIN OUR GATES: Site and Memory in the American Landscape. The Paintings of Keith Morris Washington

April 7, 2018 to May 19, 2018

Opening Reception – Saturday, April 7 from 7-9pm

WOG-raynard johnson-web

Raynard Johnson: Pecan Tree; Parents’ Front Lawn; Kokomo, Mississippi © 2002 Keith Morris Washington

KOKOMO, Miss., Jun. 28 — A black teenager who was found hanging from a tree in his front yard in what investigators ruled a suicide may instead have been lynched for dating two white girls, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Tuesday. Jackson asked Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation into the death of 17-year-old Raynard Johnson.

Standing under the pecan tree where Raynard’s body was found by his father June 15, the civil rights leader said that the death “had the smell of Emmett Till all around it. Till was a black teenager killed in Mississippi in 1955 for supposedly whistling at a white woman. “The two young white girls and Johnson had been dating each other; that did not sit well with some people,” Jackson said. (excerpt from newspaper article)


“The practice of human sacrifice, known as lynching, has been carried out openly, as a public social ritual, in the United States from the very founding of the Republic. Within Our Gates: Site and Memory in the American Landscape is designed to inform a broad audience about this phenomenon of lynching as human sacrifice within the context of the “landscape”. The term lynching faded from popular usage with the advent of the 1960’s civil rights movement. However, death by lynching is still exercised today as evidenced by the murders of James Byrd, Jr., Matthew Shepherd, Billy Jack Gaither, and Raynard Johnson. Only the taboo nature of this ritual has changed.” – (excerpted from Keith Morris Washington’s artist statement.)



Basic Black Contributor Talia Rivera sits down with acclaimed artist Keith Morris Washington to discuss his new series of paintings addressing lynching, entitled “Within Our Gates: Human Sacrifice in the American Landscape.

One of the partners we have for this exhibition is the Equal Justice Initiative. We are screening five short videos in the gallery produced by eji as part of the Keith Morris Washington exhibition of paintings about lynching. Equal Justice Initiative is opening a memorial and museum in Alabama on April 26th. If you missed the “60 Minutes” segment with Oprah Winfrey reporting on eji, here’s a link to it. The Legacy of Lynching

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

EXHIBITION SPONSORS: Caroline Cargo, Diana Cramer, Elizabeth Edinger, Lynn Fallon & Greg Daily, Mark Feldman & Chris Riley, Christine Flynn, John Haritatos & Mark Desalvia, Tarki & Joe Heath, Larry Hoefler, Donna & Phil Muhs-McCarten, Deirdre Neilen, Leon & Rosemary Oaks-Lee, Carole Resnick, Alan Rosenthal, Craig Schlanger & Rosemary Welsh,
Alexandra Schwartz, Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane and Shaila Woods

2017-18 SEASON SPONSORS: Donald Blair & Nancy Dock, Chana Bursztyn, Dik Cool, Bruce & Kathy Coville, Annemarie Deegan, Edgewood Gallery, Kathy Flack, Bob Gates & Deborah Welsh, GEGENSATZ PRESS, Teresa Gilman, Ruth Heller-1199SEIU, Mary Kuhn & Dave Thomas, Anthony Malavenda & Martine Burat, Sidney Manes, Fred & Diane Murphy, Shirley & Larry Novak, Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley, Wendy Ramsay, George Savage, Laurie Gilmore Selleck, Vince Sgambati, Jeff Unaitis and Amy Zamkoff

SPECIAL BENEFACTORS: Anonymous, John & Dolores Brule, Caroline Cargo, Therese A. Deegan, Ann Jamison, Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead, Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash and Lauren & Walter Melnikow

SUSTAINING SPONSORS: Walter Putter & Marilyn Smith | Brewster Doust, M.D.

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