FOREVER: Edwin T. Pratt

Fujicolor Crystal Archive emulsion sealed between solid recycled aluminium and a high-gloss UV protective laminate.
40 x 30 inches

JANUARY 26, 1969. SHORELINE, WASHINGTON

On the snowy evening of January 26th, 1969, civil rights activist and Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League, Edwin Pratt was in his home with his wife, Bettye, when they heard the sound of snowballs being thrown at their window. Bettye saw two men crouching behind Pratt’s car, but by the time she yelled to him it was too late. When Pratt opened the door, he was shot point-blank in the face and died almost instantly. The case remains officially unsolved after almost 50 years, but witnesses claim three men were the culprits of the crime. Known violent thug Tommy Kirk was said to have done the actual shooting, while his drug-dealing companion “Texas” Barton Gray was lookout, with the third accomplice, Michael Lee Jordan, acting as getaway driver. Jordan’s wife is quoted as saying that “He [Kirk] did it for white people,” and reported to the FBI that Kirk killed Pratt for “Being a black dude in a white neighborhood.”

Kirk was shot by his accomplice Gray four months later. Before he died, when asked his reasoning for killing Pratt, he stated “Well, not really anything, you know. It was just a trip, man.”

Today, Pratt is memorialized by a fine-arts institution and a park in Seattle, both named after him.