The Sentence Unseen: Celebrating Resilience

At Oakland's African American Museum and Library.

“What I want you to know about children with incarcerated parents is that we are a group of children who seem to be rare, but actually we are around you every day,” said Daniel Zechao Yan, one of the subjects photographed for the show The Sentence Unseen: Celebrating Resilience, currently on view at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (659 14th St.). The exhibit offers a portal into the oft-overlooked lives of people, especially youth, whose loved ones are incarcerated. Featuring portraits by documentary photographer Ruth Morgan and mixed-media artwork by Dee Morizono, the show challenges assumptions about people who are currently behind bars and promotes alternatives to incarceration through models of restorative justice. It confronts the trauma and loss endured as a result of incarceration while also shining a light on the ways in which art can be used to heal broken communities. As one of the youth in the exhibit, Jazree “Jaz” Ridley, put it, “My father did the crime, do I have to do the time? I am not my father’s choices.”

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