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LYNN — After more than a year of planning and advocating for a Black Lives Matter street mural, volunteers and artists working with the group One Lynn, One Love will finally begin painting it on Essex Street this weekend.
This project was initiated by recent Lynn English High School graduates Carlos Prudencio and Damianny Garrido — both of whom will be attending American University in the fall — following the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
As the video of Floyd being suffocated went viral, communities across the world came together through protests and the painting of Black Lives Matter murals, as demonstrations of support for the Black community.
As of this weekend, Lynn will join the more than 174 communities nationwide that have already created a Black Lives Matter mural, including Somerville and Worcester.
The project in Lynn will be a double mural on Essex Street, with Black Lives Matter written in two different directions. One piece of it will be painted in front of the courthouse on Essex Street and will continue to Johnson Street, with a reverse mural beginning in front of City Hall and continuing to the front of Lynn District Court.
“The mural being on Essex Street to City Hall Square would be in the middle of three institutions that have historically affected the lives of Black people,” Garrido said during a previous City Council meeting. “This mural will unify us during all of the tragedies that we have gone through, not only in the last year, but in our whole lives.”
The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the mural on April 27, after the project received support from Mayor Thomas M. McGee and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton. Council members gave Prudencio and Garrido a standing ovation upon the vote, praising them for their hard work and determination in making the mural a reality.
Ward 6 Councilor Fred Hogan described the duo as carrying the kind of “dedication and commitment” that the city needs, and extended his support to them throughout the entire process.
The City Council agreed to continue to work with One Lynn, One Love after the painting of the mural in order to monitor its upkeep as well as relay any updates needed for the project.
The mural is scheduled to be painted by local artists from 11 a.m. until sunset on Saturday and Sunday.
During this time, Essex Street will be closed to motorists.
One Lynn, One Love is seeking donations to pay for their artists and to purchase supplies. Donations can be made payable to Beyond Walls, 18 Mount Vernon St., Lynn, MA 01901 with BLM street mural in the memo line.
Donations can also be made on the GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/ff08bb07.