Historic Event Was Organized by The Billie Holiday Theatre and Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. in Collaboration with artists Cey Adams and Dawud West
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter public art piece in Washington D.C. and those happening across the country, more than 20 Brooklyn-based artists created New York City’s first Black Lives Matter street art mural last weekend in Bed-Stuy- Brooklyn. The massive mural spans Fulton Street/Harriet Tubman Blvd. between Marcy and Brooklyn Avenues.
The Fulton Street art initiative was directed by West, who famously completed the American flag mural for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He also is directing the installation of the names of Black people who have been killed by racially-motivated violence in this country from Emmett Till in 1955 to recent killings of two Black trans women Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique Rem Mie Fells in Pennsylvania, as well as Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. These names will be embedded into 20 bars, representing the year 2020 and a row of caskets.
The Brooklyn visual artists who participated in the creation of the work include:
Diego Anaya, Tupell Beard, Dengil Belinle, Gloria Braxton, Monique Carboni, Ali Rose Dachis, Rashid F Dav, Falisha Davis, Yuena Despagne, Stephen Edwards, Tanda Francis, Cassandra Greene, Samra Guenmdu, Tomas Hull, Melvin Isau, Kahlil Jfantau, Sapp Jimenez, Stanley Lambert, Nicholas Love, Marienne, Donna Mason, Afalau Muhammad, Mercedes Ortega, Maninga Pekason, Imani Pringle, Richard Ramea, Devon Shell, Aaron Simius, Aleathea Antoinne Thomas, Apollonia Tikki, Ava Tomlinson, Wilma Ward, Jonanthan Weekes, Larry Weekes, Valerie Williams and Marcia Wilson … and growing.
Dr. Indira Etwaroo Executive Artistic Director, The Billie Holiday Theatre, said, “This street-sized mural with the names of Black men and women who have been killed by racially-motivated violence in this country is the act of a collective of Brooklyn artists. In order to heal, we must address the fact that the current systems in place are inadequate to ensure life and liberty for all people. That is what this mural stands for here in Brooklyn.”
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. said, “This Black Lives Matter street mural is a memorial, a monument, and an inspiration. I hope that everyone who takes in these words and names comes away with renewed spirit, drawing strength from those whose protest and leadership that came before.”
Marcy to Brooklyn Avenue has been designated by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, as a pedestrians-only block for the duration of the summer.