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Tulsa City Council votes to remove Black Lives Matter mural from Greenwood District

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 23:36:26-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa City Council voted Wednesday to remove the Black Lives Matter mural from the Greenwood District.

Tulsa City Council said the mural never had a permit, making it illegal.

The removal of the mural is part of a mill and overlay project that was already scheduled for N. Greenwood Ave. north of Archer and south of I2-44/U.S. 412, according to city council officials.

City council said it considered using a sandblaster to remove the artwork, but that would cost the city $20,000. Removing the mural with the construction project won't cost extra money.

The mural continues to be a topic of debate between the city and community. Several people painted the Black Lives Matter mural on Greenwood Avenue on Juneteenth of this year, the day before President Trump held a rally in Tulsa.

Tulsa City Councilor Kara Joy McKee wishes the mural would stay, saying it's been a boost to the Greenwood District and brings attention to its history.

“I would really like for us to be in a position where the world is looking to Tulsa for an example of how to heal from something as horrible as the 1921 Race Massacre," she said. "The vote we took today, I’m not sure that it sends the right message.”

Joy McKee said there are efforts to create a mural on private property.

Comments on our Facebook page are divided. Some agree with Joy McKee, saying the mural should stay. However, others want it removed, saying if the mural is illegal, it shouldn't be there and that it served its purpose during Juneteenth weekend.

The recommendation now goes to Mayor G.T. Bynum. The construction project could start as early as next month.

In early August, Bynum said he is holding off on his decision to move forward with removing the Black Lives Matter mural in the historic district.

READ MORE: Decision on hold about future of Black Lives Matter mural in Greenwood District

The discussion was originally scheduled for Aug. 19.

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