On the weekend of September 27th, 2020, the group Just Us Somerville gathered volunteers to paint a Black Lives Matter mural on the intersection of Somerville’s Broadway and Medford streets. This was supported by the city of Somerville and the Somerville Arts Council. The piece depicted George Floyd as well as Breonna Taylor and Eurie Stamps, all victims of police brutality, and with the latter especially reminding the people of police brutality right there in Massachusetts.
The mural itself did not receive much preservation effort, and around November 2020 had began to fade, leaving little to no trace of it standing today. The location, Magoun Square, is amongst the most diverse areas in Somerville, and the intersection is one with heavy traffic. A decision to ensure that the mural is easily seen by the people of the city has also caused it to quickly fade away from public view, physically and figuratively, as there has been little to no effort to preserve the mural despite the speed at which it was losing intelligibility.
Luckily, the piece did not leave without a major impact on the communities of color. In early June, Mayor Joe Curtatone declared racism a public health emergency, and Just Us came together to ensure that the people's voices were not spoken on behalf of them, but rather by themselves. The group also advocated for support of businesses owned by people of color, and a civilian review committee.
Wonderland, Greg Cook, 09/28/2020 - ‘Black Lives Matter’ Street Mural Painted In Somerville – WONDERLAND (gregcookland.com)Links to an external site.
Researched by Tri Phan
News Coverage by Wonderland
Tweet by Keith Sawics on September 27, 2020
Post on Behance by Anthony Araujo
Facebook post by The Boston Calendar on September 30, 2020
Photographer: Keith Sawicz (Twitter: @KeithASawiczPhD)