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500-foot ‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural painted in Nubian Square

The Black artists and volunteers who painted the Black Lives Matter sign on Washington Street in Nubian Square posed for a portrait with fists raised in front of Black Market in Boston on Sunday.
The Black artists and volunteers who painted the Black Lives Matter sign on Washington Street in Nubian Square posed for a portrait with fists raised in front of Black Market in Boston on Sunday.Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

With giant yellow letters spanning the road, artists were set to complete a “Black Lives Matter” mural over a 500-foot section of Washington Street in Roxbury on Sunday, according to organizers and Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s office.

The two-day project, which began Saturday morning, stretches from the corner of Palmer Street in Nubian Square to the front door of Black Market, the business organizing the painting.

Artists worked on painting the Pan African flag on Washington Street adjacent to the Black Lives Matter sign painted in Nubian Square outside of Black Market in Boston on Sunday.
Artists worked on painting the Pan African flag on Washington Street adjacent to the Black Lives Matter sign painted in Nubian Square outside of Black Market in Boston on Sunday.Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

The business said the street mural by Paul “Mar” Chapman and Lee Beard was the first in a series aimed at “reclaiming Nubian Square as one of the country’s most black historical sites.” The mural includes a Pan-African flag.

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“#BlackLivesMatter is not just another hashtag for Black Bostonians,” Black Market said in a statement. “It is a call to action, an attitude, and an axiom that bravely stands on the shoulders of the former Roxbury-based Civil Rights activists, artists, and world thought leaders Malcolm X, Coretta Scott, Martin Luther King, Melnea Cass, and Marcus Garvey to name a few.” King, Scott, and X all spent time in Boston, while Cass was a well-known activist in the city.

Charlene Zuill, a volunteer who helped with the murals, walked past the Black Lives Matter sign painted on Washington Street in Nubian Square in Boston on Sunday.
Charlene Zuill, a volunteer who helped with the murals, walked past the Black Lives Matter sign painted on Washington Street in Nubian Square in Boston on Sunday.Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

The series of mural projects, called the Nubian Square Public Art Initiative, will also feature artists Pro-Blak, Chanel Thervil, and Mikey Janey, according to the statement.

The mayor’s office said the section of Washington Street where the mural was being painted would be closed until 8 p.m. Sunday.


Lucas Phillips can be reached at lucas.phillips@globe.com.