Monument to Keisha Thomas

Location: Washington D.C

Year: 2017

In June, 1996 the Klu Klux Klan held a rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Keisha Thomas, an 18-year-old woman, attended the rally with other anti-KKK protesters.  When a older white male with a confederate flag t-shirt and an SS-tattoo found himself surrounded by anti-KKK protesters, he was knocked down and beaten by anti-KKK protesters.  Seeing this, Thomas used her body to protect the man, eventually leading him to safety.

Twenty years later, with the election of Donald Trump, the renewal of white supremacist and Neo-Nazi fervor in the United States, and the more recent violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, I am proposing a monument to Keisha Thomas' act.  In response to the Charlottesville question of whether or not to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee, my proposal instead relocates the statue under a large, monumental roof.  Made of black straw, this large roof expresses Thomas' protective act, and creates a new and more ambiguous atmosphere in which to display the Confederate statue.