PATERSON, NJ – The Paterson Chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is encouraging supporters, community members, family, and friends to join them in efforts to install a mural that will be painted on Broadway, also known as Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., between Church Street and Straight Street. The bold yellow letters will be located directly in front of the Underground Railroad Memorial Monument near the Paterson Police Headquarters.
Led by Paterson’s own muralist, Christopher Fabor Muhammad, the painting of the mural is set to begin at noon on Friday and extend through the weekend; Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
“We all deserve to be there. We all deserve to see this happen before our very own eyes but most of all, we all deserve to take part in this because we all fought for it,” BLM said in a statement.
“The “Black Lives Matter” mural is not just about some paint on the road,” said Joseph V. Moore, lead organizer of the Paterson Chapter of Black Lives Matter. “But a clear sign that enough is enough. See us. Hear us. Take action because we are worth living,” he said, with Flormaria Gonzalez, organizer of the Paterson Chapter of Black Lives Matter, adding that “our people deserve the right to LIVE and this is what this mural means to us. Black Lives Matter Paterson fought for this for OUR people, and here we are. We couldn’t be prouder!”
Admitting that he was initially concerned that such a painting might “create controversy, discontentment and misplaced passion,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said he has since recognized “the unique opportunity that we have to meld the historical significance of this site with the calls for justice that we hear so loudly, today.”
Speaking to the historical role Paterson played in the plight of former slaves escaping to freedom Sayegh said that he remains “mindful of the constant calls to action for equality in our communities.”
“In Paterson, I am proud that we are able to largely subscribe to a philosophy that celebrates our diversity,” Sayegh said in a statement. “More importantly, I’m even prouder of our ability to celebrate our commonalities and togetherness.”