On Sunday morning, New York City’s first Black Lives Matter street mural was unveiled in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The mural, which is an initiative of Bed Stuy Restoration Corp., the neighborhood’s community development organization, displays the words “Black Lives Matter” in bold yellow paint, is similar to other murals that have recently been completed in other cities throughout the country, such as Washington D.C.
The artwork spans multiple blocks along Fulton Street between Marcy Avenue and Brooklyn Avenue, and was completed through the cooperation of many artists, city officials, and volunteers. Work on the mural began on Saturday morning and continued throughout the day. A special opening ceremony was then held on Sunday morning. Notable contributors included Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr., State Attorney General Letitia James, Reverend Al Sharpton, Filmmaker Spike Lee, and artists Dawud West, Cey Adams, and Hollis King.
However, the mural includes more than just the now iconic yellow letters. As Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Billie Holiday Theatre Executive Artistic Director and a key organizer of the mural project, said, “It is going to be bold, yellow letters, but in addition to that, we also are including the names of men and women whose lives have been taken due to racial violence in this country, starting with Emmett Till all the way to George Floyd.”
The artwork along Fulton Street is only one small part of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in New York City. In recent weeks, protests have been organized and held at sites throughout the city, including the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Grand Army Terminal, and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Bedford Stuyvesant is one of many New York neighborhoods actively participating in the Black Lives Movement.
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that New York City will paint Black Lives Matter on the streets, pledging to paint five murals — one in each of the five boroughs. The Mayor’s office confirmed for us that the mural in Bed Stuy was not one of their projects. We are awaiting additional details from the office on when the five murals will be installed.
Next, check out a Guide to the Black-Owned Restaurants Across the Five Boroughs of NYC.