Artist Mary Engelbreit Stands with Michael Brown Protests in Face of Racist Attacks

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Mary Engelbreit: No one should have to teach their children this in the USA

Mary Engelbreit: I will not stay silent so that you can stay comfortable.

Mary Engelbreit Mary Engelbreit

Last year, Mary Engelbreit, a children’s book illustrator in St. Louis, did an artwork responding to the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. At the time, Engelbreit said that “these events unfolding now in my hometown and across the country, shining a light on the ugly racism that still runs rampant in our country, made me think that maybe this drawing could help in some small way.” She posted it on line, sold prints and donated the money to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund. She got a lot of support for it, but also a lot of pro-police and racist comments. As a result, Facebook shut down her Facebook page. But she stood her ground, and her page was re-instated. (See “Cheers to Illustrator Mary Engelbreit for ‘In the USA.’”)

This year, for the one-year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown, she reposted the drawing, with a statement: “It’s been a year since unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed in the street by a policeman. The protests about his death and countless others have seemed to do some good, leading Missouri governor Jay Nixon to order the retraining of police in conflict resolution. Don’t stop protesting. Fight racism.”

Again, she received support from across the country along with a flood of racist comments. She responded with a new drawing—“I WILL NOT STAY SILENT SO THAT YOU CAN STAY COMFORTABLE”—and wrote:

“Regardless of the details of Michael Brown's actions, none of which deserved the death penalty, by the way, his death made people open their eyes to the racism in this country. It opened the eyes of the government on local, state, and federal levels. It became impossible to ignore anymore. Changes are slowly being made. Today, on the 1 year anniversary of his death, peaceful protests are being held across the country. This is my way of participating in those peaceful protests. If you’d like to leave this page and throw out all your ME items, be my guest. Just don’t throw them AT people—that would not be peaceful.”

Again, CHEERS to Mary Engelbreit—many more artists are needed to step up!



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