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'400 Years at Half-Staff' Shines Light on the Discrepancies in the History of Freedom for Black People

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Goodby Silverstein & Partners creates Independence Day campaign for Courageous Conversation Global Foundation

'400 Years at Half-Staff' Shines Light on the Discrepancies in the History of Freedom for Black People

This Independence Day, Courageous Conversation Global Foundation (CCGF) is shining a light on the discrepancies in the history of freedom for Black people with their new campaign, '400 Years at Half-Staff'. 

The campaign leans into this past year of racial reckoning in America, acknowledging that while many have only now realized the systemic bias that this country was built upon and continuously perpetuates, the reality is that Black America is all too aware of the biases suffered in this country for over 400 years. 

Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, '400 Years at Half-Staff' lowers the culturally iconic African American flag to half-staff to illustrate the point that Black Americans have been suffering since slavery. And even though enslaved people finally discovered they had been freed on June 19, 1866, Black America still suffers. The project has been documented in this film.

Embroidered with a vigorous declaration of Black truth, the flag can be seen through a powerful film and an Instagram lens that allows users to interact with the flag in real life using image-recognition technology. Download the Instagram lens here

“When you see a flag at half-staff, you wonder what’s happened—a mass shooting, a prominent statesman or stateswoman passing away, etc. This specific flag at half-staff is representative of the constant suffering Black America has endured for far too long,” said Anthony O’Neill, GS&P creative director.

Underlined by a quote from Frederick Douglass from 1852: “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn,” the work exposes the systemic injustices Black Americans have been experiencing since 1619, injustices that have heightened this past year with the unjust deaths of Black Americans such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.

“Even to this day, on the Fourth of July, Black Americans do not experience the freedom and liberation that were stitched into the fabrics [of the makings] of our nation,” said Glenn Singleton, founder and president of CCGF.

This campaign is intended to spark a conversation on a day during which we all reflect on what it means to be American and the meaning of “liberty and justice for all.” But beyond that, we hope to spark change. The film asks people to “Start a conversation at CCGlobalfoundation.org” where they can learn how to contact their local senators and urge them to pass the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill.

“We recognise that at times revisiting the past can be painful, but we also think it’s extremely important to revisit these moments to better understand the present,” said Rony Castor, GS&P creative director. 

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Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Charity

Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Thu, 01 Jul 2021 08:47:00 GMT