“Respect for Life” serves as the first of Five (5) Principles of the Kiyama Movement.

The others are:

  • Sexual Responsibility
  • Respect for Womanhood
  • Commitment to Fatherhood
  • Economic Accountability

The purpose of this poster is to help ignite courageous conversations pertaining to the tragic rate of “fratricide” in black communities across this country.

The images and language associated with the poster while shocking are intended to raise awareness regarding the historical and present day acts of violence committed against black people.

The top half of the poster projects the horror and tragedy of a bygone era. The large image of a hooded Klansman serves to illuminate a period in American history in which mob and individual violence by whites against blacks were quite commonplace in American society. 

The photo at the top left displays the horribly disfigured remains of fifteen year old Emmitt Till lying in his casket.  The photo in the upper right section captures the image of a white mob, including a police officer, presumably rejoicing in the public lynching of two unknown black men.  

In the bottom half of the poster the large image of a black man in a ski mask holding a gun is depicted to illustrate a different kind of “danger” confronting black life today. The gun represents a different type of method used to destroy black life. 

It should be noted, most of the victims of gun violence in the black community are young black males.  Most of the perpetrators of these crimes are young black males. This is represented in the image (see middle left of poster) of the man aiming his gun at his fallen victim.

The image of the grieving mother represents the heartbreaking pain suffered by those left behind. In this particular image, we see a mother mourning the tragic loss of her child – a victim of gun violence.  

The poster is punctuated with an image of a cemetery, which represents the seemingly endless cycle of death as a result of black on black homicide (*). 

The image of a black man in a jail cell represents a guilty and wasted life or (in more than a few cases) one who may be wrongfully convicted.

We hope this brief explanation assist those who undertake the challenge of having a courageous conversation in their homes, communities, schools, campuses or place of work about black on black violence/homicide.

(*) Please note – the national rate of homicide is approximately 5 per 100,000 individuals.  The rate of homicide in the white community is approximately 2.5 per 100,000 individuals; the rate of homicide in the black community is nearly 17 per 100,000 individuals. Over 90% of those who kill blacks are black.