New BLM mural honors victims of police brutality

Kavita O’Malley

The Black History Month Committee is designing a mural to honor victims of police brutality through a partnership with art teacher Abram Walters. This project is a direct response to the recent widespread Black Lives Matter protests, as well as in celebration of Black History Month. 

In the hallway leading up to the College and Career center, the mural is made up of the words “Black Lives Matter.” Each letter is made up of the face of a victim of police brutality in the US, painted in black and grey. The design was configured such that viewers have an impression of  looking into the eyes of people whose lives have been stolen unjustly by a system built against them. In commemoration of the lives of the many Black victims of police brutality in this country, creators of the mural aim to show solidarity to the movement sweeping the country. 

Wilson’s Black Student Union (BSU) leader Raquel Jones said she hoped the mural would “speak for itself and offer a safe, united, and loving environment at school.”  Jones also hoped that  white members of the school community are encouraged to educate themselves on the issue, thus better support their BIPOC peers and understand how to assist in minimizing the presence of racism in their community. 

Walkers was the primary creator in charge of the design of the mural, the process of which was ‘emotional,’ he said.One cannot help but to contemplate the life and death of the faces in front of them, subsequently causing the painter to sift through a mixture of various emotions as they work,” Walters expressed.

It is clear that this mural holds high emotional significance to many in the community. Gabrehedim, a member of the BSU, felt that the project was necessary, as it was the first homage to victims of police brutality he had seen at Wilson. For him, it was extremely hard to see “Black faces like mine up on the wall.” 

Just like the others involved in the project, Tafari hopes that people will see the mural and be reminded of the lives lost and all of the changes that have to occur until we can reach equality and justice in America. 

Though the mural is not yet finished, there has already been an outpouring of support for the project on social media and the students who participated in the making of the mural have formed deep connections with one another through the process.