Since their inception this past Summer, The Dream Defenders quickly emerged as a force to be reckoned with.
Formed in Florida, the group came to prominence during the Zimmerman trial with their fierce advocacy against Stand Your Ground Laws, captivating a mainstream audience with their boldness and refusal to back down. The group consists of young people advocating on their own behalf. They’re scrappy, insistent and they have a lot of heart– characteristics that they’re not shy about displaying. Thinking big and organizing with an emphasis on solidarity and our shared struggle it’s hard not to feel better about the state of the world simply knowing they exist.
The authenticity of the Dream Defenders is what sets the group apart. What you see produced by the group is a product of the heart, sweat and tears of its members. To that end, art and culture are often at the forefront of their overall organizing strategy.
Their recent Blacked Out History Month campaign is an example of how the group has done this to great effect.
The project is explained on their Facebook Page:
Blacked-Out History Month is an effort to highlight individuals, moments, and important facts throughout history that were left out of our history classes but made a tremendous impact on the world that we live in today. February 1st to the 28th is usually the one month out of the year dedicated to honoring and remembering Black history. As Dream Defenders, we revere this history and know that every day in our work we stand on the shoulders of giants.
But we are also aware that there is no such thing as an isolated “Black history”. Our struggle has been inspired by, linked to, and shaped by the struggles of many who also see their histories forgotten. For this reason, we are calling February of 2014 Blacked Out History Month. It is a time not just to honor the lifted and recycled legends of our past, but to highlight and honor many overlooked heroes who have made an impact in the world as we know it.
We are creating a digital art piece for every day of February highlighting a piece of lesser known history. Many thanks to awesome partners (Get Equal, 18MR, BYP100, United We Dream, Alayna Eagle) for helping us hopefully pick a wide array of history representing many cultures.
Since the beginning of February this collaboration has released a series of digital art pieces featuring the work of artists like Sandra Khalifa, Steve Peace, and Kevin Banatte. The project is intended to raise awareness about moments in history that have been “blacked out.”
I selected a handful of pieces to showcase here, but the entire project from start to finish is incredible. The diversity of the topics explored and the intricacy of each piece is impressive. I urge you to check out the whole digital exhibit and to spread the word. February might be nearly over, but Black History Month or not, these pieces represent moments of our history that don’t deserve to be blacked out.
Images after the jump
Photos published with permission.