Honoring Kalief Browder

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Film & Other Media

May 202225
3:00p.m. - 8:30p.m.


After being arrested at age 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, Kalief Browder spent three years in the jail complex on Rikers Island, the main prison compound of New York City renowned for extraordinary levels of violence and disorder. Browder maintained his innocence and during the time spent in Rikers waiting for a trial that never happened, was subjected to prolonged solitary confinement and intense mental and physical trauma. After 3 years, the case was dropped and after being released, Browder committed suicide at age 22. May 25, 2022 would have been Kalief Browder’s 29th birthday.

To honor Browder’s life and memory, the plaza at JANM will become a site of memorial and action. Mid afternoon, Whit Hazen Studios will create a mixed media tribute to Browder's life, alongside artist Coby Kennedy’s installation. The day will conclude with a conversation on incarceration and Art As Social Action, between artist Coby Kennedy, Arts activist Marsha Reid, and Executive Director of Inside Out Writers Jimmy Wu.

3 - 7 pm: Whit McClure creative floral design honors and celebrates Kalief Browder’s brief life 'outside of The Box’ with a real time floral tribute creation . Soundscape curated by Kindred Arts.

7pm - 8:30pm: Conversation with Kennedy, Reid, and Wu*

*RSVPs only needed for the conversation portion of the program. Tribute to be on display outdoors throughout the program.



About Kalief Browder: The Box:

The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum (NCPD@JANM) is proud to host Coby Kennedy’s Kalief Browder: The Box to commemorate Black History Month in Los Angeles. By replicating the dimensions of a solitary confinement cell, this steel and glass work critiques the abuses of civil liberties in American incarceration systems, introduces viewers to the impacts of mass incarceration, and invites them to envision a world without prisons.

The Box is one of four large scale sculptures by acclaimed African American artists Arthur Jafa, Christopher Myers, and Hank Willis Thomas. These sculptures are on view at Benny H. Potter Park, and Leimert Plaza Park. They are part of Monumental Tour, a traveling outdoor exhibit presented by Kindred Arts and the 10th Council District of the City of Los Angeles to examine aspects of the African American experience.

These sculptures invite viewers to examine themes of colonization, oppression, subjugation, privilege, Black middle-class labor, the decline of industry, as well as Black power, pride, and joy. NCPD@JANM supports the museum’s mission to examine the rights, freedoms, and fragility of American democracy through educational programming. Thus, as part of its 30th Anniversary JANM welcomes this piece to the plaza and is proud to join others in our community as we fight for social justice together.


JANM . Última actualización May 03, 2022 2:26 p.m.


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