Local artists have painted a new Black Lives Matter mural meant to spark conversation about racial inequality.
The 57-foot-long mural is on display near the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage on Depot Avenue West. It began when artists Ashley Kay and Tyshaun Tyson worked together to enhance the words “Black Lives Matter” written in chalk on a concrete panel. They painted the Black Power fist and masked protesters holding signs with chants from Black Lives Matter rallies.
Tyson said the goal of the mural is to reflect on racial justice movements and the changes that are emerging in Niagara Falls and the City of Buffalo.
“We wanted people just to see that with everything happening right now, there are some positive changes to the community [and] to the area, just to get people’s minds off of some of the things that’s happening just a little bit,” Tyson said.
Every detail of the mural, Tyson said, has a purpose in honoring Black lives lost to police brutality.
“The parts of the mural, specifically the flowers, represent growth. One person is wearing the mask. That represents COVID. We wanted children to be symbolic of these different things that are happening and showing that they can grow and they will grow through these different things. We wanted that mural to kind of show the timeframe as well as youth as well as those important topics that could be applied to youth but people as a whole," he said.
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Museum is calling for more artists to paint for its Arts Mural Project throughout the summer.