Artist adorn Raleigh street with the words ‘End Racism Now’

Published 8:21 am Monday, June 8, 2020

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RALEIGH — Add North Carolina’s capital city to those sporting a bold message denouncing racism painted in large yellow letters on a city street.

Artists on Sunday painted the words “End Racism Now” on a downtown street, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The message was added days after the mayor of Washington, D.C., had the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in large yellow letters on a street leading to the White House. That came amid days of demonstrations in the nation’s capital and all over the country in response to the death of an unarmed man in Minneapolis.

George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died May 25 after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, ignoring his cries and holding it there even after Floyd stopped moving.

Charman Driver, former chair of the Contemporary Art Museum on Martin Street, where the painting is located, called it “a very painful totem.” The street leads to the State Capitol grounds, where Confederate monuments have been criticized by protesters as offensive.

A city engineer barricaded the street for the artists early Sunday.

“We did it. And it’s wonderful. And we feel really good about it. Our voices are being heard, but it’s not enough,” Driver said. She said the effort won’t stop with street art.

“This is peaceful, but I tell you one thing — if they don’t remove those things it is not going to be so peaceful,” she said.