Graffiti Artists Just Want to Be Remembered


In a blog post at Miss Aleck's Guide to God, Guys, Grub & the Goods, Miss Aleck reflects on the potential of graffiti to serve as an "emotional insurance policy" for artists seeking out relevance, and even immortality.

"I just want her to know that if something happens to me, Daddy loves her and I didn't leave her." Kaysan fought back tears as he sat with me on a park bench. He acknowledged that the decisions he made in his life might keep him from reaching his 30th birthday. So, he scripted his emotional insurance policy on every place he could think of his unborn daughter frequenting. Graffiti. Many have argued whether this is an art form, vandalism, or a political statement …

Self appointed scribes and orators, these writers are no different from those of us that hide behind our Macbooks and feverously type hoping our words will resonate with someone out there. Actually, they are braver because their message couldn’t be any more visual if they wrote it across the sky. Kaysan was murdered three weeks before his little girl was born. But I remember the conversation on the park bench like it was yesterday when he told me, "Everyday she wakes up and looks up at her ceiling or outside at the building next door, she'll see Daddy's paintings and remember me."

Though some try to stifle their chants with another coat of paint, the beat continues on from broken slabs of concrete to the sides of city hall. Artists and writers, like Kaysan and Ty, draw us into their world of pain and triumph with every stroke. Their message of "Remember me" is not one easily forgotten.


Read the entire piece at Miss Aleck's Guide to God, Guys, Grub & the Goods.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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