In Kansas City, Missouri, a mural reading “Black Lives Matter” and “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” was painted along Briarcliff Parkway. It was designed by Harold Smith. The quote is from Martin Luther King Jr. The mural is painted with many bright and vivid colors. The purpose of the bright color is to represent the diversity of all African Americans, with Smith stating, “Black lives are rich, vibrant and they contribute so much to America.”1 This mural was part of five others painted around Kansas City to celebrate the Black Lives Matter movement. The murals were a community movement. The murals were designed by local artists. Community members showed up to support, and food trucks were set up near the mural. Each mural from the Labor Day Weekend had a similar message towards the Black Lives Matter movement, but each was expressed in different ways.
A little over a week later, the mural was defaced with white paint and tire marks. This did not set Smith back; his plan was to try to incorporate the vandalism into the mural.2
Just like Minneapolis, Kansas City was struck with riots after the death of George Floyd. There were several days of protests, looting, and vandalization of local businesses in Kansas City. Many of the community members were impacted by this, as there were over 200 arrests made, one protestor lost an eye from a rubber bullet, and many others were affected by the tear gas.Researched by the Urban Art Mapping Team
News Coverage by USA Today and The Kansas City Star
Photographer: Crissy Dastrup