Artists from across North Carolina completed work on the “Unite Against Racism” street mural located on First street in Greenville, North Carolina, on Dec. 13.
The mural was painted by a total of 24 artists which included the organizer of the mural project and art instructor at J.H. Rose High School, Randall Leach and Kevon Gainer, who first brought the idea to city officials, according to the official Greenville, North Carolina, website. A full list of members who worked together to create the mural can be found on the website's city news page.
“The artwork filling each letter on the street ranges from paying homage to African American history and local African American communities to calls for social justice and the recognition of the importance of black lives,” the website said.
The mural has undergone multiple name changes before the Greenville City Council approved the current wording of the mural. At an Oct. 19 City Council meeting, the expected words for the mural were changed from “Black Lives Matter!” to “Black Lives Do Matter.”
In the aftermath of a Nov. 9 City Council meeting, the mural’s name was changed to “Unite Against Racism,” after council members voted four to three for the change. Many artists and community members disapproved of this change.
“They (city council) said they didn’t want to control what the artists do, yet you are controlling the phrasing. You are basically controlling the artists’ vision,” artist who worked on the mural Jordan-Mayo said after the Nov. 19 City Council vote to change the mural’s name.