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Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot

In 2018, the Museum partnered with organizations throughout the city of Wilmington to mark 50 years since the powerful and community-changing public response that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. Civil disturbances in Wilmington followed by a nine-month-long occupation by the National Guard left an indelible mark on the community. The Museum commissioned artist Hank Willis Thomas to respond to the events of 1968 through the creation of a new work of art that sheds light on this complicated moment in the city’s history. Following the exhibition, the Museum acquired Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot from Thomas for the benefit of the communities we serve.

Two years later, we share this poignant work of art as we grapple with the emotional anxiety and the strain of the violent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others as a result of systemic racism. We acknowledge that Black lives matter, and we will continue to work with our partners to address critical social issues affecting our communities through civic discourse and creative expression.

Read interview with Hank Willis Thomas in Hyperallergic.

Make Change. Join with others locally and nationally in taking action for racial and social justice. Learn more.

Jul 5, 2020  -  Nov 1, 2020

Price: Free with admission



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Available in Our Store

Wilmington 1968 Sourcebook

The Sourcebook, compiled by Simone Austin, is a collection of documents, photos, and writing that shed light on Wilmington's history during the Civil Rights movement. 248 pp., $78.50

Organizers & Sponsors

Black Survival Guide, or How to Live Through a Police Riot was organized by the Delaware Art Museum. This exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.