The art, titled “Say Their Names,” includes black men and women whose deaths have made headlines in recent months and years, including David McAtee two weeks ago; icons of the civil rights movement; and, according to the magazine, visual representation of “the unnamed millions of black people enslaved in America.”
Nelson described the cover as a “memorial to all of the African Americans who were and continue to be victimized by the long shadow cast by racism in America and around the globe.”
Choosing a heavy palette of shadows and muted tones, Nelson said his “weighted portrait of George Floyd” includes 18 other “African American souls who were murdered by law enforcement officers, while providing a visual context of historical institutionalized racism and discrimination against African Americans.”
Online, you can scroll across each face and read annotation.
“We all need to know this; we all have to know what black Americans are dealing with every single day,” said New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly.
“We must not turn away, as painful as it might be,” she added. “It’s only once we accept these murders are part of our shared history that we might be able to move towards a more just world.”