"Revolution". The Language of The Unheard Series
"Revolution". The Language of The Unheard Series

"Revolution". The Language of The Unheard Series

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"I think that we've got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard. And, what is it that America has failed to hear?" - MLK Jr
This series "Language of the Unheard" is painted from photos and from memory of the night I found myself riding my bike around in smack the middle of the unrest in downtown Philadelphia on May 30, 2020, the fires and looting and mayhem following the George Floyd protests.
The downtown Philly air was full of smoke and sirens and I stood across the street from the Wawa watching a looting in progress. Kids inside were handing out stuff from the shelves to kids outside the broken windows, while others were jumping in and out of the windows with arms full of anything from water to cases of food to cash registers. I wanted one of those waters so bad.
As I watched, I looked to my right and saw two of the 6abc Philadelphia News crew jogging across the street back to their van, which was parked near the Wawa. The kids pounded on, kicked and threw things at the news van while they drove off. 
Meanwhile, there was a tweaker passed out face-down on the sidewalk missing possibly the biggest unrest Philly has ever seen.  
This one is titled "Revolution" because these kids were having their moment. Looters and their crowd were blasting car stereos, dancing in the streets, beeping horns and cheering out the windows. I saw one girl walking down the sidewalk celebrating and pulling down her pants to moontwerk at the armored vehicle driving by. Everyone was free shopping with no consequence, as the cops were generally just trying to clear a perimeter more than make arrests, as far as I could tell. I do think that this night felt like revolution to a lot of the looter crowd, or maybe the start of one.