“Make Good Trouble: Marching for Change,” the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s most recent exhibit, pulls its name from U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ famous quote. The good trouble highlighted in this exhibit is this summer’s protests against police violence.
The exhibit, curated by Leslie King-Hammond and Lowery Sims, features protest signs, photographs, and other materials gathered at protests in Maryland sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in May. The exhibit also looks at protests that focused on local issues. One wall is filled with signs featuring messages of support for Dr. Andrea Kane, the first Black superintendent of Queen Anne’s County schools, who faced pushback for supporting antiracist efforts in the school district.
King-Hammond described the process of curating the exhibit to The Baltimore Sun. “You’re pulling in all of these scraps, these elements, together that reflect — and this is really important — what ordinary people are experiencing, and have been so denied, and are reaching a point of frustration [about] with this explosion, just is like a tsunami effect. This is history that has been going on for 400, excuse me, freaking years,” King-Hammond said.
King-Hammond and Sims placed this summer’s events in the context of centuries of civil rights protests. Part of the exhibit highlights the 2015 police killing of Freddy Gray. Curators used Marvin Gaye’s 1970s protest anthem “What’s Going On” to connect recent incidents of police violence to the past.
The museum’s Interim executive director Wanda Draper hoped that people draw inspiration from the exhibit. “Hopefully, [people] will look at their personal experiences and internalize what this all means to us as a people,” Draper said.
“Make Good Trouble: Marching for Change” will likely be on display through February.