“Close, Dark, Quick” are the three words Courtney Taylor begins her presentation with. These are the words her father, an ex-police officer for the Cincinnati police department, used to describe most police shootings as happening “in very close proximity to the target, very quickly, and very dark environments”.

Her project sought to explore “the untold story of slain black men and resurrect those silent voices.” She chose to explore suicides of two different black men, Lee Thompson Young and Lamar Hopkins, as well as three young men who were shot in a car for playing music too loud.

And finally she explores the story of her own father who worked to create change for minorities and women in the police department. She expresses her exploration through poetry in different forms.

A poem in email form from Emmett Till, a boy from Chicago who was murdered in Mississippi, to his mother, a Kendrick Lamar rap song carefully deconstructed to create a poem and story, a dictionary definition, and finally a piece about her own personal experience with her father’s need to protect her from the world by teaching her to use a gun, Courtney created an array of thought-provoking pieces.

Her goal of recreating the narrative was achieved through the poignant poems she read, touching on the problematic aspect of blaming black men for the violence, mental or physical, inflicted upon them. Ultimately, Courtney focuses on her father and “the intersection of privilege and oppression” he experienced as a black police officer.

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