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In 1919 people of color were limited by where they could live, where they could work, and where they could recreate. Sometimes the lines between black and white were clearly indicated, and sometimes they were invisible or unspoken though just as clearly marked.
What started with an apparent crossing of a line separating the black and white waters of Lake Michigan quickly escalated into a week of violence. Like rays of fire, violence spread from the lakefront and immersed the black belt and up into the loop in blood. From a trickle to a torrent, the violence spread and reverberated with knives, guns, pipes, boots, and fists. White on black, black on white violence and retribution was exacted against anyone found within the other’s territory. Animosity and fear that had been simmering for years exploded in violence in 1919 across the nation. 1919 also marks the beginning of the black voice and agency and would have future repercussions for the movement.
Blood Lines marks each of the deaths that grew from the drowning of Eugene Williams in Lake Michigan on July 27. Wires connect each of these locations to the initial death with Edward Dart’s architecture providing a minimalist landscape and acoustic setting. The length of wire connecting each of these points to the initial death determines the tone of each location with the timing based on the times of death recorded during the ensuing days of rioting.