Eugene community members turn tread marks from car that vandalized Black Lives Matter mural created as part of Juneteenth celebrations into a rainbow of hand prints.
On Friday, June 19th 2020, known as Juneteenth, a BIPOC led coalition of roughly 20 artists painted “Black Lives Matter” in giant, yellow letters in front of Eugene’s courthouse along 8th Avenue between Mill and Ferry Road. The mural received broad support, was permitted by the city and created by members of the BIPOC Art Collective.
The mural was created in solidarity with the many others that have gone onto streets from Seattle, to Washington D.C., Philadelphia and dozens of other cities, saying “Black Lives Matter”, “Defund the Police” and “End Racism Now”.
However, that night, the mural was vandalized by a yellow car which drove intentionally through the piece of art, leaving broad skid marks.
The artists, rather than simply cover up the damage, instead incorporated the vandalism to reclaim the meaning, and show that diversity & equity is possible even in the face of such reckless hate. Gathering together as a community, dozens of families with children all placed painted hand prints along the mural.
“Turning a negative into a positive is what people of color have had to do for years. We’ve had to turn every disadvantage into an advantage, so this just amplified that. It reminded me that it’s as prevalent as it was yesterday as it is today,” said one of the artists.