Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 07 October 2020



Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 07 October 2020


H Street NW and 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., USA


Protest signs and posters on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, located on the north side of Lafayette Park in Washington D.C.

Multiple posters read “Solidarity” “Silence is Compliance #Black Lives Matter” “Good Cops Dont [sic] Exist” “This is Some Bullshit” and a photograph of Trae Darson. A poster reads “BLEACH 10/4/2020 [then Arabic text is written under this] WE the people of color and colors [;] Demand to be treated Fair + Lovely [with ‘+ Love’ crossed out] You suggest US to ingest Bleach [‘] You suggest that we become white inside, Dead inside Kill ourselves, Colonize ourselves [;] WE Demand that you, Decolonize your mind, our systems, our stories [;] Try to Bleach us. But our Fabric, our thread out contributions. ARE forever ARE here to STAY.”

Other posters read “’Fuck Trump’” Everybody Take America Back ! And Vote” ”Black Lives Matter” “Yeah The Black Guy Did It”. On the fence there are pieces of paper and it spells out “We Keep Us Safe” and there is a poster that has photographs of victims of police brutality. The words are in different colors with “We” in pink “Keep” in orange “Us” in blue and “Safe” in white.

There is a poster that has an image of the book titled “Free From Slavery Not Free From Racism” which is written and illustrated by Vince Cowan. The poster has a paper on it that reads “Racism is alive and well in America. It is a part of our heritage. Available in October, Vince Cowan talks about how it FEELS to be discriminated because of skin color. For more information #wolfcooky on Instagram or Facebook”.
Underneath is another poster that reads “Am I Next?” and has multiple names of victims of police brutality around it. Additionally the poster reads “#BLACK LIVES Matter, #Say their Names, All Lives can’t matter until B.L.M. Im scared !” “57, 375 lives since 2015” “Know their names. I thought you were supposed to protect me. Don’t shoot.” “BLACK Gays Matter Be Proud to be Black Embrace yourself” “You scared? Boo! I don’t fell [sic] safe in America.”

There is a large image that was painted on the side of a building that is covered slightly by a tree and another building in front of it. The mural reads “Freedom Fighter” “Rider” and “Pinder Story.” The mural has an image of a black man and there seems to be a bridge within the image of the man’s head.


The Black Lives Matter Memorial fence was a temporary chainlink fence installed in the area north of Lafayette Park and the White House from June 2, 2020, until January 30, 2021. The fence prevented public access to the area, and it also served as an important site of protest and self-expression.

Activist Nadine Seiler played a crucial role in protecting and caring for the fence, along with Karen Irwin and other activists in a loosely-formed group informally known as the "Guardians of the Fence." Nadine Seiler and Aliza Leventhal systematically documented the fence over the course of months, and Seiler became the de facto curator of the fence.

Additional information:

Library of Congress blog post "Protest Preserved: Signs from D.C.'s Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence"

D.C. Public Library Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence Artifact Collection”


Photographer: Aliza Leventhal


Urban Art Mapping






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