Young people join in on painting massive Black Lives Matter mural in Paterson | Paterson Times

Young people join in on painting massive Black Lives Matter mural in Paterson


14-year-old Khyree Miller spent his Sunday helping to paint the massive Black Lives Matter mural on Broadway.

“Black lives matter, you know. We have to live and breathe,” said Miller, a student at School 30. “George Floyd didn’t have to die.”

Miller was among two dozen young people who took part in painting the two-block long mural in downtown Paterson.

“You have to teach kids at a young age that black lives matter,” said Zellie Thomas, an organizer for Black Lives Matter in Paterson.

Miller is among 22 youngsters enrolled in Raheem Smallwood’s six-week summer program. Youngsters learn about Black culture, history, and take steps to beautify their neighborhoods by cleaning up parks.

Smallwood tries to awake the youngsters to become change agents in their communities. 14 youngsters from his program took part in painting the mural.

“Just don’t settle for what is happening in our community,” said Smallwood. “We have to stop the violence against each other.”

Mural runs on Broadway from Church Street to Straight Street, where a memorial stands for the Underground Railroad. It begins a block from the Paterson Police headquarters.

Thomas said it took two months of back and forth to obtain approval to paint the mural. He said police opposed having the mural in front of the Frank X. Graves Public Safety Complex.

“It took a lot of pressure,” said Thomas.

Mural is aimed at police and the community, urging both to value Black lives.

“This is history. For me this is almost like attending the Million Man March,” said school board member Kenneth Simmons, who was pushing a roller soaked in orange paint on the asphalt. “I wish we had more students out here.”

Simmons’s colleague Emanuel Capers also took part in painting the mural. He also brought his one-year-old son, Emanuel Capers, Jr., to be part of it.

“It’s important to know he was here,” said Capers. He said his daughter, when she was very young, attended president Barack Obama’s inauguration. She had no idea about the importance of the event, but can tell posterity she was there when the county’s first Black president assumed the highest office in the land, he said.

Painting was organized in shifts to efficiently handle manpower and complete the project in three days. Each day, the volunteers painted a word on the asphalt. First day was Black, second day was Lives, and the third day was Matter. Each letter is 25 square feet.

No public funds were used for the mural.

On Sunday, the volunteers finished the mural by having all three words painted on the asphalt in orange.

Black Lives Matter Mural

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  • HankMorgan

    Painting the street while murderous gang wars rage in the city isn’t the most productive use of time and energy.

    • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

      Those lives don't matter apparently, only when someone dies high on drugs while resisting arrest do Black Livers Matter to them.

  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    George Floyd died of a Fentanyl overdose while resisting arrest. Someone should pour blue paint all over this shit and fuck it up lol

  • http://Patersontimes.com Limbaugh

    Young people, education is the key you can break the cycle and be successful move on .

  • John

    This rqcist mentality will back fire on all BLM. You are hypocrites while young confused staying at home with mommy White kids act as if they are worth anything themselves

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    2 more dead due to blm,32 total. Countless businesses burned,looted,by a self admitted marxist communist terrorist group.This is all Paterson needs. Instead of focusing on mandatory parenting classes,making education the top priority,teaching responsibility,morals and values,No.Paterson chooses to look up to murdering,destructive,anti American terrorists.Great for the future of our children.You idiotic,brainwashed idiots think it's cool being BLM now.You won't when they fall.Trust me.