In late June 2016, an art exhibition took place at El Barrio’s Art Space PS 109 dedicated to showing the impacts of Broken Windows policing on the daily lives of New Yorkers through visual pieces and installations.
The evening included panels and discussions as well as a showcase of artwork. Below are some photos from the event as well as a poem from Maesha Meto written for the event.
They Wear Blue by Maesha Meto
The mothers come here with dreams,
and their children, the glow of their color
like honey on
shades of silt, sand, and clay.
I can hear it still now, my neighbor pleading to her boy
Be honest, be brave; be kind, be strong, be humble.
Call me if anything goes wrong
You’re the only you I have
They come here with Glock 19s
Following orders, I’m just following orders,
My neighbor’s boy repeats a mantra
Damn the void of the cop car sirens: the grief they bring,
The ruckus that ensues: the stillness of the block after,
We shoot the American dream between our jump shots
And right hand lay ups,
He free throws me the beauty of the ghetto, and we
Blue and purple bruises together, knees smart on asphalt together,
and We heard them even before they came,
My neighbor’s boy crosses the court,
We hear the fear, the confrontation, the shuffle, and the wound
We see his body disappear,
consumed by the blue.
Glory be to my neighbor who
comes home to her roots gone,
Her wails playing a tune to something
like the Star Spangled Banner.