Giant bright yellow letters painted on the pavement along Fulton Street in the heart of Bed-Stuy spell out the message of the movement: “Black lives matter.”
The mural, reaching from Marcy to Brooklyn Avenue, is the first of its kind in New York City.
Inspired from a similar painting done in Washington, and other cities across the country, people in Brooklyn say is the perfect place to have a mural of its own.
“It is the place,” said local resident Indira Etwaroo, who’s also a board member of the Billie Holiday Theatre. “We are the largest community of African Americans in the entire nation, Central Brooklyn, so it is imperative that we are a part of this.“
Nearly two dozen Brooklyn-based artists worked from Saturday afternoon into the early hours Sunday morning to finish the mural. Members of the community and local leaders pitched in to help fill in the letters.
For many, the unveiling is especially significant as the country reacts to the death of George Floyd and others who have died from police violence.
“During this crisis I felt beaten down, but I also felt empowered and built up and this makes me feel good, makes me feel like we care, like we have a voice,” said Brooklyn resident Tish Celestine
At each end of the mural, yellow blocks are filled with the names of black men and women who have died at the hands of police.
Mayor de Blasio said he supports coordinating similar murals in the four other boroughs, and confirmed Monday that the mural in Brooklyn will still in place throughout the rest of the summer.
Councilmember Robert Cornegy says the location of any additional murals is crucial.
“In predominantly black communities across the country there should be this message,” said Cornegy. “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.”
This street will be closed to traffic through the end of the week. Cornegy says he is working with city agencies to keep it closed through the end of the summer so that residents can come here and reflect on what is happening around the country.