Black Lives Matter Street Mural, Cleveland, OH



Graffiti HeArt and R.A.K.E.


Black Lives Matter Street Mural, Cleveland, OH


41.466924, -81.621478


Black Lives Matter ♡ is painted on the pavement in various colors. Each block letter was painted by various artists' teams with their own artistic expression and design.


This Black Lives Matter mural is located in the middle of East 93rd Street in Cleveland, Ohio. It was organized by Ricky Smith, the founder of the non-profit group Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere. He coordinated this project by first posting his vision on social media, where he received hundreds of positive responses. Smith initially planned on “doing it rogue,” but the city contacted him and sanctioned the mural. They blocked off the street and allowed the artists numerous days to work on the piece. Smith was then able to move forward with the project in collaboration with Stamy Paul, the founder of Graffiti HeArt, and the Cleveland City Council. Dozens of artists worked on this mural, and most of them were people of color. After the mural was created, numerous people and vehicles flooded the street to view the work. Foot and vehicular traffic caused the street to be so congested that the city was forced to close the street for a few days. The mural remains but was quickly vandalized after its reveal. Phrases like “BLM is Marxist” and “STOP KILLING EACH OTHER” covered some of the letters. In response to the defacing of the mural, Smith tweeted, “No no nope. I don’t want that to be the narrative. Thousands of people have left their comfort zones to go check out the amazing work. One person felt left out and wasn’t loved enough as a child. I’m not going to let the one mess up the energy of thousands.”  

The mural covers the span of several blocks and was painted on East 93rd Street due to the street’s high crime rates. Smith wants to bring attention to this area because of this, and since the neighborhood has high instances of murders, kidnappings, and rapes, particularly of women in the African American community.  

Each letter in the piece is themed around a certain aspect of the Black Lives Matter movement. For example, the letter “B” shows a black woman with the message “Black women are beautiful,” and the letter “K” features a tiger and black panther under the words “Asians for Black Lives.” The mural brings in many people who are unfamiliar with the street and informs them about the violence in the area. Smith’s goal is to inspire people with the mural to do further research and instigate reform.  


Beardsley, Rachael. “Behind Cleveland's Black Lives Matter Street Mural.” Cleveland Magazine, 22 June 2020,  

“East 93rd Street in Cleveland to Remain Closed Due to 'Black Lives Matter' Mural Visitation.”, WKYC, 23 June 2020,  

Horansky, Author: Andrew. “Cleveland's East 93rd Street Becomes Canvas for New 'Black Lives Matter' Mural; Gallery.”, 20 June 2020,  

“WATCH | Vandalism on Cleveland's Black Lives Matter Mural on East 93rd Street.” YouTube, YouTube, 30 June 2020, Accessed 16 Mar. 2023.  

Researched by Megan McSherry

Image URL

News Coverage by Cleveland Magazine, WKYC Studios, WKYC Studios, Cleveland.Com, Cleveland 19 News, and Graffiti Heart

Tweet by Lindsay Buckingham on June 20, 2020

Youtube video by Ideastream Public Media


Artists: Graffiti HeArt and R.A.K.E.

Photographer: Ideastream Public Media


Urban Art Mapping Research Project




Spatial Coverage

Located on East 93rd between Bessemer Ave. and Raymond

Is Referenced By



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