On a warm, slightly overcast day in May, I traveled with one of my favorite cousins to the Speed Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. She lives across the country, so when I spend time with her I tend to be flippant and mischievous. The setting and demeanor of the museum would disallow my meandering. Both spacious and sedate, the Speed Museum had added an exhibition called Promise, Witness, Remembrance reflecting on the life of Breonna Taylor featuring Amy Sherald’s Portrait.
I began the visit with short-lived frivolity as I was taken aback by the tenor and tone of the exhibit and as I let the sights and sounds sink in. Amy Sherald’s portrait of Breonna graced the cover of Vanity Fair, but that did not prepare me to see it as it was displayed. I knew the background story but to place it in the context of her mother’s remarks and a sense of who she was saddened me greatly all over again.
So many Black lives had been taken, so many black lives have been lost, as if they were cheap. Whether by they were taken by intent or not, this is not incidental.