“Between 1920 and 1938, the NAACP flew a flag outside its headquarters on Fifth Avenue in New York City reading, “A man was lynched yesterday.” As black people were murdered by mobs around the country, the flag would appear, marking one of New York City’s busiest thoroughfares with a protest of constant racial violence. “I really felt that the NAACP’s banner needed to be updated… It’s an indictment of this whole system.” — Artist Dread Scott
The NAACP stopped flying the flag in 1938 when the landlord of the building threatened eviction.
But on Thursday night, a version of that same flag, created by artist Dread Scott, flew in New York’s Union Square as hundreds of people protested recent police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
This time, it read, “A man was lynched by police yesterday.”
“People were riveted by it,” Scott said. “They were really captivated and wanted to talk more about this. They felt it really resonated with their experiences.”