Voices of protest speak for those who have been silenced forever – murdered by our system to give a face, a name and a humanity to those lost, who went unnamed stemming from centuries-old American genocides.
Along with this vocalization, art arises upon the streets, from murals of commemoration to the defacing of memorials and removal of such historic emblems. In Charlotte, North Carolina, streets were painted by artists to amplify the Black Lives Matter movement: “…as we continue to gain momentum as a collective, we have some policies being changed to support what our desires are as a people,” artist and organizer for the project, Georgie Nakima proclaimed.
Likewise, yet substantively different, Black Lives Matter Plaza, painted on 16th Street near the White House is artwork seeking to pacify the movement. District of Columbia Mayor, Muriel Bowser authorized this response to the Federal Government’s violence against peaceful displays of people expressing their 1st Amendment rights. This act of public art is rightfully criticized because funding for Washington Metro policing has been budgeted an increase for the next year while community anti-violence organizations are to receive cuts of support.