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Artists paint "Black Lives Matter" on street in Greenwood District

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 23:34:03-04

TULSA, Okla. — Crowds gathering in the Greenwood District for the Juneteenth celebration got to see Tulsa’s newest painting.

The words “Black Lives Matter” stretch the length of the block.

“We wanted to try to roll out the yellow carpet, the red carpet for the Juneteenth people," said Ryan Rhoades, one of the organizers of the painting.

More than 50 people painted the words overnight. Just in time for the Juneteenth celebration.

“Being out here, you know, getting to see everybody enjoy it, take pictures and selfies," Rhoades said.

Rhoades said they didn’t exactly get permission from the city. They were unable to get a permit they needed, but he said some city leaders who wish to remain anonymous gave them the ok. He also said it's really for the Black community and the businesses on the street.

“[The businesses] heard that there was a bunch of white people painting the road and a lot of owners came out to see what was going on," he said. "And once they saw what was going on it wast a lot of gratitude and love.”

Rhoades said the words are also a reaction to people lining up across downtown for up for President Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday. He said he’s hoping to send a message, loud and yellow.

“Putting this big stamp right here as people are flying in and making sure," he said. "That article about Trump in the New York Times today has this on it. And I wanted to make sure he saw it and he didn’t just get the people camping out in front of the BOK welcome.”

Rhoades said the paint isn’t permanent. So, if people want it gone, they’ll wash it away. If not, it will stay.

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