Atlantic City, Mayor Marty Small Declares Black Lives Matter With Street Mural

By Clyde Hughes |AC Joseph Media

ATLANTIC CITY — On Friday, Mayor Marty Small Sr. lead to team of artists and community activists to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Atlantic and Pacific avenues to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street, mere blocks away from the popular casinos and restaurants in the resort New Jersey town.

At a news conference, held in front of Atlantic City’s Civil Rights Garden, Small announced in a proclamation that starting next year, each September will be designated as “Black Lives Matter” month in Atlantic City. He said he wanted to leave more of a legacy and continuing tribute beyond “Black Lives Matter” in bright yellow paint.

A surprise guests for the event was Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner. Garner’s death while in custody of New York City police in 2014 helped galvanize the original “Black Lives Matter” movement along with deaths of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

Carr reminded the crowd that “Black Lives Matter” should extend well beyond police brutality and encompass economic issues, education, neighborhood issues, etc.

After the news conference, Small invited the community to take a paint brush and help finish painting the final letters to the “Black Lives Matter” street mural.

The idea of the “Black Lives Matter” street mural started with Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser who painted the first street mural near the White House in response to criticism from President Donald Trump over who controlled the streets in the capital city. Bowser responded with the street mural and remaining the portion of the street Blacks Lives Matter Plaza. Other cities around the country followed with their own street murals.

Story will be updated Saturday, Sept. 5.

Below are photos from the event:

Part of the Black Lives Matters mural on MLK Drive in Atlantic City.
A bird’s eye view of the Black Lives Matter street mural on MLK Drive in Atlantic City.
Black Lives Matter banner held during Mayor Small’s news conference of George Floyd and others who died while in police custody around the country.
Mimi Nambo (in black shirt) plants on the street mural with another community member.
Community members help finish off painting Black Lives Matter street mural on Friday, Sept. 4.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. speaks at BLM event Sept. 4.
Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, speaks to attendees at Black Lives Matter event on Friday, Sept. 4.
Ernest Coursey, Atlantic County Freeholder and Mayor Small’s Chief of Staff speak at street mural news conference, Friday, Sept. 4
Pastor Collins Days, from Second Baptist Church in Atlantic City, prays at the Black Lives Matter street mural event Friday, Sept. 4.
Bishop R. Fulton Hargrove, of the Fellowship of Churches of Atlantic City and Vicinity prays at street mural event Sept. 4.
Full shot of Black Lives Matter street mural on Sept. 4. Photo courtesy of Mayor Marty Small Instagram

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