AUSTIN, Texas — As people across the nation continue to call for police reform and ending systemic racism, a mural was painted on Congress Avenue Tuesday saying "Black Austin Matters."
The mural comes from Capitol View Arts and the Austin Justice Coalition in partnership with the City of Austin, Economic Development and Cultural Arts Division and the City of Austin Transportation.
The mural is being painted between Sixth and Ninth streets on Congress Avenue and on 11th Street between Waller Street and Lydia Street. These streets will be blocked off from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the mural's installation.
Austin Transportation said in a Tweet that Congress Avenue is a "canvas of our city." The mural's installation began at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Congress Avenue will close from Sixth Street to Ninth Street for people to view the mural.
Earlier in June, a "Black Lives Matter" mural was painted near the White House. Since then, the mural has inspired street paintings across the U.S.
The murals are part of a movement that erupted after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer placed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
"Black Austin Matters" street mural painted in Downtown Austin
In a Twitter thread, Austin Justice Coalition Executive Director Chas Moore explained the facts regarding the painting:
- The mural was a collaboration between Capitol View Arts and the AJC.
- The black artists who helped paint did not work for free. All and only the black artists were paid, while some volunteers of other races and backgrounds did pitch in.
- The effort was intended to highlight and spotlight black artists.
- It was meant only to make a statement and show people that racism exists in Austin.
- The location of Congress Avenue was chosen "in the name of putting it in the face of the majority of Austin and the power structure." Another mural will be coming to East Austin on Thursday.
- The phrase "Black Austin Matters" was chosen specifically: "How can 'Black Lives Matter' to Austin and the majority of people that live in Austin if they don't even care about the black people in the city? So until black Austin matters ... the City and the people in the city can't graduate to 'Black Lives Matter,'" Moore said.
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