Black Lives Matter Mural: Worcester, MA

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Title

Black Lives Matter Mural: Worcester, MA

Catalog Entry

My mini exhibition theme is Black Lives Matter which is why I chose the artifact
“Massive Black Lives Matter Mural in Worcester Painted by Local Artists, Hundreds of Volunteers”. This artifact is extremely important because of the current Black Lives Matter movement happening in the world, especially since this mural was created in the town over. All around the world millions of people fight for change due to discrimination towards people of color every single day. This discrimination began years ago, ranging all the way back to 1400 when the European trade of enslaved Africans began. European people, specifically, decided that people of color are inferior due to the color of their skin which they were born with. Even though you cannot change this, people still enslaved and tortured people based on this years ago. The idea of inferiority has affected many people from the antislavery movement in the 1800’s all the way up to the Black Lives Matter movement in this current day which affects people today. People of color are taught, from a young age, the negative effects of racism. Sadly, in today's society, people of color are still forced to be fearful when it comes to the racist beliefs of many people, and this will not change unless everyone works together to make a change.

Community members all around Worcester came together to create the ginormous Black Lives Matter mural that is on the streets of downtown Worcester. The words ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ are painted in bright, beautiful capitals. Each letter has its own unique design and colors from 18 local artists. The majority of the artists are people of color which I think is extremely important because it gives people of color an opportunity to showcase their talents to the whole community. The mural was chosen to be in a specific area as well. The mural is on an area nearby Major Taylor Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The significance of the location matters because Taylor was a black world champion in cycling and Martin Luther King Jr. was a well known civil rights activist in the 1960’s. Since Worcester is the second biggest city in New England, the location is also important because there is a large amount of traffic in the city, so more people will see it. The time it took to create each letter was about six hours but it was all worth it in the end due to the beautiful and inspiring masterpiece that was created.

The story of the artifact is that the mural was contributed to by hundreds of volunteers. Their hard work was turned into a beautiful mural that was incredibly unique. Each letter had a different design, such as the K. The artist, Khalil Guzman - Jerry, created the mural of the letter K. Guzman - Jerry created the letter K based on his idea of what he thought the African -American flag would look like. He painted the mural with white stars, a blue background, red stripes, and black lines. The fact that Guzman - Jerry completed this is important because it brings acknowledgment to African origins while also respecting the American flag at the same time. This creation of what the African - American flag would look like is important because it gives people with African origin something physical to hold on to, just as other ethnicities and groups can do so.

This connects to my mini exhibition because my mini exhibition is on the Black Lives Matter Movement and the connection to the oppression of the past. In this mural, the connection to the oppression of the past is that people of color were so oppressed to the point where they did not even have their own flags like other ethnicities and groups do. People of color were stripped of so many things including their right to have their own flag which celebrates their culture. I think this mural is incredibly important in regards to the Black Lives Matter Movement because of the large connection that it has to fighting back against the oppression of people of color which is what Black Lives Matter is all about. Even though this mural may not have a direct connection to the oppression of people of color, it still connects to the fight for accurate representation in today's society which is why it connects with my mini exhibition.

The significance of the mural is also connected to why I chose this to relate to my mini exhibition. The bright murals brought attention to an issue that people seem to just look right past. This mural needed to be created to bring more attention to the disrimination and racism that people experience day in and day out. It is incredibly disgusting, especially knowing the history of enslaved African - Americans, to see that no real justice has been done in. Despite the antislavery movement in the 1800’s, people of color still need to fight for their rights which is why the Black Lives Matter Movement is so important. Furthermore, I think that this mural could also bring more supporters when it comes to the mural.

This mural draws a large amount of attention so that it can get people to raise further questions and awareness about the movement. The mural can bring questions to people such as, ‘How can I help?’ or ‘Why have I not stepped in and helped with the movement yet?’. It is absolutely disgusting to hear that, in response to the gorgeous mural, some people were negative or blatantly racist. I truly hope that this mural helps to push people to educate themselves and stop the oppression of people of color.

Bibliography

Berg, Matt. “Massive Black Lives Matter Mural in Worcester Painted by Local Artists, Hundreds of Volunteers - The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com, The Boston Globe, 19 July 2020,
www.bostonglobe.com/2020/07/16/metro/massive-black-lives-matter-mural-worcester-pain ted-by-local-artists-hundreds-volunteers/.

Ponti, Crystal. “America's History of Slavery Began Long Before Jamestown.”
History.com, A&E Television Networks, 14 Aug. 2019,
www.history.com/news/american-slavery-before-jamestown-1619.

Price, Sarah. “Learning Together: Where Did Racism Begin?” Undergraduate Admissions, 17 July 2020,
admissions.nd.edu/visit-engage/stories-news/learning-together-where-did-racism-begin/.

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Madison Craig, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Bill Ayadi

Photographer(s)

Joe Jacobs and Matt Wright

Citation

“Black Lives Matter Mural: Worcester, MA,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed December 2, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/173.

Output Formats

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