Posted on June 22, 2023

Black Lives Matter Street Murals Are Fading Away

Keldy Ortiz, Axios, June 19, 2023

Black Lives Matter murals painted nearly three years ago on blocked-off city streets across America after the murder of George Floyd are getting paved over or worn away by traffic.

{snip} The bright, block-spanning declarations became commonplace on streets quieted by the pandemic — but the return of rush hours and declining support for the Black Lives Matter movement have made them difficult to maintain.

  • A BLM mural installed outside Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — which then-President Trump branded “a symbol of hate” — has largely faded away in the intervening years.
  • Charlotte’s colorful BLM mural also faded away over time after the city opened up the street to traffic in late 2020.
  • A BLM mural along a popular section of the Atlanta Beltline has faded in part because the slogan was done as a community project and does not have a maintenance plan by the city, a BeltLine spokesperson tells Axios Atlanta’s Thomas Wheatley.
  • Austin removed its Black Austin Matters and Black Artists Matter installations, which were first put in place in June 2020, as part of scheduled road resurfacing, a city spokesperson tells Axios Austin’s Asher Price.
  • Indianapolis’ BLM mural was not replaced after the city repaved the street, though crews did attempt to save a piece of each letter for the artists.