New York City’s first Black Lives Matter mural was recently painted in the neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant. Similar to the original mural located in downtown Washington, DC the words are posted down the road of Fulton Street, reports CBS New York.

On Saturday afternoon, a number of artists, local residents, and elected officials helped begin the mural. Painted in bright yellow and stretching over a number of blocks the artwork was revealed on Sunday during a sunrise ceremony.

“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,” said Dr. Indira Etwaroo, executive artistic director of the Billie Holiday Theatre.

While the artwork is powerful and shows prominent support of black lives in the wake of nationwide protesting, many wonder if this is enough. The gestures of solidarity were meant to honor peaceful protesters, they are not well received by activists.

Many believe the work is performative and a distraction from active protests in support of nationwide demands to defund the police budget, invest in disenfranchised communities and prioritize black lives in the wake of white supremacy. To some, a mural is not enough without extreme policy reform to back it.

Nevertheless, this mural is just the beginning of many, Mayor de Blasio says he wants a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural on a prominent street in every borough. As the summer progresses, New Yorkers can begin to be on the lookout for both rampant community organization and the color yellow painted all over the streets.

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Kimberlean Donis

Kimberlean Donis is a journalist based in Brooklyn. She is a student at Williams College majoring in Political Science and Art History.

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  1. I wonder why the headline (which is what most people read instead of the full article….) would emphasize the backlash??
    First impressions matter in this hyper-speed climate. How about something like how it’s the first mural but there will be one in each borough???
    Sure, a mural isn’t enough, so some people would complain that it shouldn’t be seen as a panacea, but hey, I live in B-S and we’re all proud that it’s here and loud and beautiful and fierce.

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