This mural is known as the Black Voices Street Mural in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The mural, created by Elizabeth Schilling, features a pride flag, an American Indian Movement Flag, and a pan-African flag. It was painted in June 2020 by volunteers on a street outside of the OKC Police Department Headquarters. This was an unsanctioned mural, created through community engagement, which was organized by Brandon Riles, who describes its creation as being different than anything currently seen around the country. Riles explained that for them "to be able to do this in front of Oklahoma County and in front of the jailhouse, it makes a big statement because who else has done it?" The significance of the location is accompanied by the significance of the piece itself. While this mural speaks heavily to the Black Lives Matter movement, it aims to give voice and power to other communities as well. The purpose of the mural at its core is unity. It is meant to bring everyone together but is also meant to hold those in power accountable.
There did not seem to be other street murals in Oklahoma City, nor other Black Lives Matter murals in general. There were a series of protests in Oklahoma City after the murder of George Floyd. On May 30th, May 31st, June 6th, and June 12th, protesters gathered in support of the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the city. Two of these protests took place on the street where this mural was painted, with the June 12th protest ending at the Oklahoma City police headquarters to confront the police over the force’s use of violence against protesters during the May protests.
Most articles written about this mural were released before the mural was finished. Riles did outline the plans for the rest of the mural and stated that “It’s also going to say Black voices as well as the movement, and we’re going to have victims’ names and we’re going to have various communities’ flags out here, as well”.
As of 2023, the mural has been removed.
"Volunteers Paint Black Lives Matter Mural On Shartel - OKC, OK - News Article Locations On Waymarking.Com ". Waymarking.Com, 2023, https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/wm12NER_Volunteers_paint_Black_Lives_Matter_mural_on_Shartel_OKC_OKLinks to an external site.. Accessed 16 Mar 2023.
Oklahoman.Com, 2023, https://www.oklahoman.com/picture-gallery/entertainment/arts/2020/06/24/okc-street-murals-support-black-lives-matter-more-minority-groups/5201030007/.Links to an external site. Accessed 16 Mar 2023.
"Black Voices Street Mural, Oklahoma City, OK · George Floyd & Anti-Racist Street Art ". Georgefloydstreetart.Omeka.Net, 2023, https://georgefloydstreetart.omeka.net/items/show/3514.Links to an external site. Accessed 16 Mar 2023.Researched by Avery Kellin
News Coverage by The Oklahoman and Way Marking
Photographer: Brandon Riles from Informed-Voter