Tire marks over ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural draw mixed feelings from Tallahassee residents

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 6:01 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Less than a week after “Black Lives Matter” was painted near Collegetown, tire marks now cover the mural.

The act has left many in Tallahassee with mixed feelings; some people say, since it’s painted in the middle of a busy intersection, it was bound to happen. But others say, in the midst of a national movement for Black Lives Matter, the tire marks feel personal.

“All lives matter, but I’m black and I grew up in poverty. So, I know how it feels,” said Tallahassee native Keith Goodrich. “When people do stuff like this, it’s like a smack in the face.”

Goodrich says he was excited to hear about the mural, but this is a step in the wrong direction.

“That’s a good sign of things to come, hopefully, but when you do stuff like that, it’s a step back. But, hopefully, we can get it cleaned up. ‘Black Lives Matter’ will stay up there because black lives does matter,” he said.

The mural, which was finished last week, was a collaboration between several city officials and departments.

It sparked hundreds of comments and controversy.

“There’s a whole range of responses to that, but that’s part of engagement, that’s part of that dialogue is to respond what is happening here, and art is a great way of doing that,” said COCA Executive Director Kathleen Spehar, who spoke to WCTV about those who thought the painting was controversial.

Kalanghi Gaines says he hopes this just sparks more murals for the movement.

“You gonna always have bad before good,” he said. “I really do believe that in due time, everything will get a little bit better but, right now, you will always get the rough before you get the good.”

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