On November 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered by a Cleveland police officer at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio.  Within two seconds of opening his car door, officer-in-training Timothy Loehmann shot and killed Tamir, who was playing in the snow with a toy pellet gun. The officers who killed Tamir were not indicted for his murder.

In 2016, at the request of Samaria Rice, Tamir’s mother, Rebuild Foundation received the gazebo where Tamir was playing when he was killed. Ms. Rice sought to preserve the structure as a community space for care, dialogue, and public engagement. Since receiving the gazebo, it has been on display in a deconstructed state, with original memorial material, inside the Arts Bank.

In memory of Tamir, the gazebo has been reconstructed in a reflection garden on the Stony Island Arts Bank lawn. The dedication ceremony, held on June 23rd, honored Tamir’s 17th birthday on June 25th. With the help of American Airlines, the dedication ceremony included words from the Samaria Rice and Theaster Gates and performances by Angel Bat Dawid, Yaw Agyeman, and Avery R. Young and the Rebirth/Reborn Youth Poets.

Four-Part Collection Immersion Series:

Rebuild has hosted a four-part collections immersion experience to provide opportunities for public dialogue and reflection. Guest participants are encouraged to use resource material shared in these sessions to create public engagements for the planned installation of the Gazebo on the North Lawn of the Stony Island Arts Bank in 2018.

Part 1: Duane Powell on the Frankie Knuckles Records Collection
Sunday, November 12, 2017 | 3:00-4:30pm | Stony Island Arts Bank

Part 2: Romi Crawford on the Edward J. Williams Collection
Sunday, January 14, 2018 | 3:00-5:00pm | Stony Island Arts Bank

Part 3: Adam Green on the Johnson Publishing Archive + Collections
Sunday, February 11, 2018 | 3:00-5:00pm | Stony Island Arts Bank

Part 4: Rebecca Zorach on the Glass Lantern Slides Collection
Sunday, March 11, 2018 | 3:00-5:00pm | Stony Island Arts Bank

Samaria Rice: A Mother Speaks

On July 7, 2017, Samaria Rice joined Theaster Gates for a conversation moderated by Lisa Yun Lee at the Stony Island Arts Bank. Together, they discussed the significance of bringing the Gazebo to Chicago and the importance of making the government uncomfortable to enact change.

Audio presented with the Gazebo materials is excerpted from a recording of Samaria Rice: A Mother Speaks, with additional vocal rendition of Ms. Rice’s demands performed by Yaw Agyeman.

Transcript of Ms. Rice’s Demands, sung by Yaw Agyeman:

open up your door I’ve been waiting outside for a very long time
open up your door I’ve been waiting so long just to sing my song

I want the badges
I want their guns
Pink slips for blood
Pink slips for blood

The government shall recognize
the price of his life
The weight of my tears
The burden of Service

Tim Loehmann
Frank Garmback
Should be charged
Should see jail
For the murder
Of my boy

If you can’t protect us
If you cannot serve
Give the moneys to the babies
Fund the education of these children
And not your fear


Additional Resources:

The Fear of Black Bodies in Motion
“As a scholar of the Great Migration, I have spent most of my career trying to understand the multiple meanings of black bodies in motion. If I’ve learned anything from my explorations, it is that a black body in motion is never without consequence.” (Wallace Best, Ph.D., HuffPost | Dec. 4, 2014, updated Feb. 3, 2015)

After Death of Tamir Rice, Pain Lingers
Family and friends of Tamir Rice, 12, struggle with their loss five months after a Cleveland police officer fatally shot the boy as he played with a toy gun in a park. (Brent McDonald and Michael Kirby Smith, New York Times | Apr. 22, 2015 | 7:28)

The Torture of Mothers
Mothers of the “Harlem Six,” a group of young black men wrongly accused and convicted of murder in the mid-1960s, bond together to defend their sons, and to unite a community in the name of justice. Based on actual interviews, this docu-drama re-enacts the mothers’ struggle to protect their sons and make their story known. (Woodie King, Jr., 1980, 52m)

Cornbread, Earl and Me
Set in Chicago, director Joseph Manduke’s classic film tells the story of Cornbread, a local basketball star on the verge of starting college on a scholarship, who is killed by a police officer. The film features surprisingly long sequences of courtroom testimony by a Black boy recounting the shooting of his hero. Keith Wilkes, who plays the title role, was in real life an all-American at UCLA. Based upon Ronald Fair’s novel Hog Butcher(Joseph Manduke, 1975, 95m)

A Love Letter to Black People
“Whatever you are feeling — fear, anxiety, anger — it is all real and valid. But all is not lost. And while the road ahead will be long and difficult, we are everything we need to build a future that is radically inclusive, just and liberatory for all Black people.” (BYP100, January 2017)

Healing/Counseling Services