London·Video

Placards from Black Lives Matter protest heading to Museum London

Compiling the signs into an exhibit at Museum London is a way of continuing the conversation about racism in London, said Keira Roberts, one of the protest's organizers.

Rally organizer, Fanshawe College student, and curator working on the display

Olivia Musico said there are at least 200 placards in her basement, after she volunteered to collect them from Saturday's Black Lives Matter rally for an exhibit at Museum London. (Submitted by Mitra Shreeram)

A Museum London exhibit of placards from the Black Lives Matter rally in London is one way to keep the conversation about racism going, according to one of the protest's organizers. 

Keira Roberts is co-curating the display with Amber Lloydlangston, the museum's curator of regional history and Olivia Musico, a Fanshawe College student who approached her with the idea during Saturday's demonstration. 

Roberts said she was ecstatic when she found out about it.

"I was like 'that's an amazing idea, especially for the community, that would be an amazing safe place for us to have," said Roberts. "It makes me emotional just to think the fact this could even be a reality." 

Ashley Bilcliffe donated this sign, along with two others she designed, to Museum London. (Submitted by Amber Lloydlangston)

Organizers put a call out to the crowd Saturday for people to bring their signs to the Victoria Park bandshell if they wanted to donate them. Musico, who also reached out to Museum London with the idea, said she has at least 200 placards piled in her basement.

"I had this vision of creating a space that would continue the conversation and allow the Black community to continue to have a voice here in London," she explained. "It's one thing to post on social media, it's one thing to have a protest. But it's something that needs to continue."

The proposed exhibit is in the planning phases still. Lloydlangston said she'll be working with Roberts and Musico on what it will look like, before submitting a proposal. But she envisions the signs on the north wall of the museum's atrium. 

"The idea would be to feature a huge selection as a sort of wallpaper effect on that wall with an exploration of why — why the rally in the first place, what provoked it, and why Black lives matter."

This placard, by Ashley Bilcliffe, caught the eye of Amber Lloydlangston, the curator of regional history at Museum London, on Saturday. Lloydlangston said it features the names of women who died in interactions with police, and that Bilcliffe donated it – along with two other signs – to the museum. (Submitted by Amber Lloydlangston)

Lloydlangston was at the rally as both a participant and a curator. She collected a handful of signs herself, and said that Musico had sent a message to Museum London's Instagram page the day before, volunteering to collect signs as well.

Storage space prevents the museum from being able to keep hundreds of signs, Lloydlangston explained. But acknowledging the historical importance of the rally, she hopes Museum London will acquire two or three signs from the exhibit for their own permanent collection.

Black Lives Matter protest in London

2 years ago
Duration 1:25
Thousands gathered in Victoria Park in London, Ont. on June 6, 2020 in support of Black Lives Matter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liny Lamberink

Reporter/Editor

Liny Lamberink is a reporter for CBC North. She moved to Yellowknife in March 2021, after working as a reporter and newscaster in Ontario for five years. She can be reached at liny.lamberink@cbc.ca

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