Work begins on Black Lives Matter street mural in Harlem

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Work began on one of Manhattan's three Black Lives Matter street murals in Harlem Friday.

Artists finished the outline of the mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., running for two blocks, from 125th to 127th St.

The main mural will be similar to the one painted in Washington, D.C. with "Black Lives Matter" in large yellow letters, but the Harlem community will also include its own take on commemorating the legacy of racism and the last few weeks of historic change.

"It's very important that we are able to come together around a singular cause," artist Dianne Smith said.

There are similar murals planned in every borough of New York City, as well as two others in Manhattan.

One will be located in Lower Manhattan near the courts and the other will be that controversial one on Fifth Ave. below Trump Tower that President Donald Trump called a "symbol of hate" and sparked a feud between Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"Black lives always mattered and we are trying to teach you that we never had a deficit in our self-image," National Action Network's founder Rev. Al Sharpton said. "We had a deficit in how you would treat us. We always knew we mattered. We matter now. And we are going to always matter."

The Harlem street mural is presented by Harlem Park to Park in partnership with Got To Stop Social Impact Agency.

Artists include LeRone Wilson, Dianne Smith, Thomas Heath, Guy Stanley Philoche, Lesny JN Felix, Jason Wallace, Joyous Pierce and Omo Misha.

The artists will create their work on the north facing mural.

Joining with artists to paint the lane heading south will be representatives of 16 community groups that will each send representatives to paint one of the letters.

The groups include: Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Harlem Pride, Mama Foundation for the Arts/Sing Harlem, New York Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc - Delta GEMS, Got to Stop Social Impact Agency, Harlem Park to Park, Harlem Grown, Jackie Robinson Foundation, among several others.
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