Brooklyn is following the trend of other communities by utilizing the Black Lives Matter slogan as public art by painting the words on blocklong street mural.
The artwork is painted along Fulton Street, in front of Brooklyn’s Restoration Plaza which sits in the middle of Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historic African-American enclave. About 20 visual artists put together the artwork and volunteers spent Saturday (June 13) painting the letters in yellow print along the thoroughfare.
Organizers said it gives a larger voice to the BLM movement and allows artists to express their feelings about the national moment. Included in the painting are the names of those who have fallen victims to police violence.
“We are the largest community of African Americans in the entire nation, Central Brooklyn, so it is imperative that we’re a part of this,” Indira Etwaroo, who helped organize the event, and is executive art director of the Billie Holiday Theatre in Restoration Plaza where the mural is located, told reporters.
This is the first mural of its kind in New New York, but Mayor Bill De Blasio has reportedly said he wants to see similar artwork in every borough of the city.
The location of the mural is both symbolic and important, organizers say. Bedford Stuyvesant is among several densely populated African-American and Caribbean communities, along with Crown Heights, Brownsville, East New York and Flatbush. All of whom have seen tension between residents and police over the decades and have also been the centers of grassroots organizing.
“In predominantly black communities across the country there should be this message,” said City Councilmember Robert Cornegy, according to local station NY1. His office organized the mural and event along with the Billie Holiday Theatre. “I don’t want to convince anyone else that black lives matter. I want to make sure we know, as Black folks, that Black lives matter.”