The mural was organized by UNC students.
The Black Lives Matter Street Mural in Asheville, NC is painted in the middle of the street in a variety of colors. Each of the letters has a unique design. Black student artists showed their support by creating this mural on University Heights (UNC Asheville). It took approximately eight hours to create the mural with permanent road paint on September 30th (UNC Asheville). The mural was created in response to the murder of George Floyd and to demonstrate support for the Black Lives Matter movement, serving as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality.
A couple of weeks after the mural was created at UNC Asheville, the school received a threat to the campus over the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights. The email was sent anonymously and suggested that the Black Lives Matter mural should be removed. Some students from UNC Asheville were interviewed indicating their thoughts on the conflict, indicating that the mural was “a work of art... It’s simple and does not understand how someone could be so mad about it [mural] that you would threaten other people with violence (ABC News). The student later said, “the mural is a work of art with a strong message, representing a movement that can stir controversy” (ABC News). The threat did cancel classes, but it did not cancel the support of the Black Lives Matter movement at UNC Asheville. It was strongly encouraged that the mural would not be painted over due to a threat. It solidified the university’s stance on issues regarding racial justice and equality. The support still thrives among students and staff at UNC Asheville. The mural is still present at the university.
In response to the threats made by an anonymous individual sent via email to administrators at UNC Asheville, the university continued to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Bill Haggard, commented that “we are not going to back up or in any way be intimated when it comes to our position on the importance of the messaging that Black Lives Matter” (The Blue Banner). Haggard strongly spoke for the university mentioning that part of the reaction to the threat was sadness as the community celebrated the mural and Black lives. The FBI eventually became involved in the investigation one week after the threat, as it was believed to be credible (ABC News). Regardless, individuals of the UNC Asheville community learned after the threat that there are people in the country who do not believe in freedom for all and will even threaten those who do not believe in freedom (The Blue Banner).
The significance of this mural comes from the students at UNC Asheville as it was student-led. The university acknowledged and applauded the students, faculty, and staff who brought their vision, creativity, and integrity to the Black Lives Matter project on their campus (UNCA). The university would also like to recognize the volunteers and local artists who spent their time and talent to create the mural (UNCA). This mural should be celebrated and the impact it has on the UNC Asheville community should not be overlooked due to their affirmation that Black lives matter.
Black Lives Matter by UNC Asheville - Exposure. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://stories.unca.edu/black-lives-matterLinks to an external site.#!
Kracher, F. (n.d.). BLM leader disturbed but not deterred by email threat to UNCA. WLOS. Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://wlos.com/news/local/blm-leader-disturbed-but-not-deterred-by-email-threat-to-uncaLinks to an external site.
UNC Asheville Response to threat about Black Lives Matter mural, Oct. 9-10, 2020 - news and events: UNC Asheville. News And Events | UNC Asheville. (2021, October 1). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://www.unca.edu/events-and-news/stories/unc-asheville-response-to-threat-about-black-lives-matter-mural-oct-2020/Links to an external site.
UNCA Strong: BLM Bomb Threat One Year Later. The Blue Banner. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from https://thebluebanner.net/12592/arts-features-2/unca-strong-blm-bomb-threat-one-year-later/Links to an external site.Researched by Ulysses Perez Perez
News Coverage by UNC Asheville, ABC 13 News, Citizen Times, and UNC Asheville