On Saturday, West Indian Day celebrations lit up the Black Lives Matter mural on Bed-Stuy’s Fulton St with live music, health and wellness activities and a steelpan performance by 11-year-old Musical Marli, Brooklyn Paper reports.
Hosted by the Bed-Stuy Mural Collective, the office of Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Gateway BID, the West Indian Day Parade brought a range of performances to the pedestrian-only block.
It was one of several celebrations that occurred under this year’s theme is “Back to Love.” Other events, such as J’Ouvert International, were held on online. From 7 a.m. to midday, J’Ouvert honored essential workers and Black Live Matter activists and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association celebrated for 12-hours online.
Programming Coordinator Monique Antoine said the Bedford Stuyvesant Mural Collective hosted the day of activities, “to bring the spirit of the Caribbean to the mural.” She said Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados and other Islands were represented at the event.
The Black Lives Matter mural site, painted in June, has held a number of events over the past month. Councilman Cornegy said he hoped to covert the site to a permanent pedestrian plaza to drive foot traffic to the plaza’s businesses.
“The goal is to bring awareness about the mural, but not only that, to help bring safe, and large foot traffic to the businesses of Bed-Stuy,” Lynette Battle, deputy director of the Bedford Gateway Business Improvement District, told Brooklyn Paper in August.