artist dread scott displays “a man was lynched by police yesterday” banner outside new york gallery

As Black Lives Matter demonstrators take to the streets across the US and Europe, the American artist updates a historic NAACP banner to protest against police killing of black men.

by Felix Petty
11 July 2016, 1:00pm

Dread Scott, A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday (2015). © Dread Scott. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The original banner read "A Man Was Lynched Yesterday" and was hung outside the NAACP building in New York on Fifth Avenue from 1936 - 1938, a protest against the widespread lynching of black men, predominantly in the American South. A 2015 study found that approximately 4,000 black men, women and children were lynched in the South between 1877 and 1950. American artist Dread Scott has now updated the historic flag to protest the multiple deaths of black men at the hands of police officers in America, adding "by police" to the original message. 509 people have been killed by police officers in the US this year, 990 in 2015. A disproportionally high number of them are people of color.

"It's been decades that I've been following police murder people and at a certain point I decided I needed to create an updated version of it for the NAACP," Scott explains in an interview with Artnet. In reaction to recent events in America in which Alton Sterling and Philando Castile became the latest black men to be killed by police, Dread Scott and the gallery decided together to hang the flag above the entrance of the New York gallery displaying his work as part of a group show titled, For Freedoms.


Text Felix Petty

Black Lives Matter
Dread Scott