NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Saturday afternoon, volunteers of all ages and ethnicities came together to paint a bright new mural supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in East Nashville.
You can find it near Nissan Stadium on Woodland Street. It’s between Interstate Drive and North 1st Street.
Artist Thaxton Waters says the mural is about 350 feet long, while the individual letters are about 60 feet tall. He’s hoping the project brings more representation to the black community in Nashville.
“There’s representations of blackness all around, but just not positive ones. So we’re trying to hopefully have a symbolic, positive first step to adding in this city,” said Waters.
College students Timbrel Williams and India Ortero came out to help paint the letters with a group of their friends.
“This is a powerful, powerful statement. We’re literally painting Black Lives Matter out on the streets and I think that is so important. So when people drive past and they see they really see ‘okay this is a statement. This is a movement.’ Because people are literally dying every single day from injustice,” said volunteer Timbrel Williams.
“It will let others know like Black lives are here and we want the Nashville community to know what’s going on and to be heard,” said volunteer India Otero.
Organizer John Smith said the project took about five months to come together.
“It’s epic! It’s glorious! It’s fabulous! We’ve been working on this since June and a lot of people said it wasn’t going to happen and it happened today so we’re excited,” Smith said, “I’m not a person that cries, but I’m very emotional and I’m just excited that this is happening.”
Funded solely by private donors, Smith says he’s working with Metro leaders to keep the mural here permanently.
“We’re just trying to open up the conversation,” said Waters, “Hopefully this is a symbolic start to pragmatic change.”
Painters also added additional colors to and symbols to represent the African flag, LGBTQ community, and Music City.