CAMBRIDGE – Artist Miriam Moran and a group of volunteers took their social activism to the streets Saturday, as they retouched the Black Lives Matter mural in the 400 block of Race Street.
In 2020, Ms. Moran and the nonprofit Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation created the display amid nationwide awareness of violence against black citizens. At the time, it was assumed to be a temporary piece of artwork – after all, it was painted directly on the street.
But two years later, the issue is not yet resolved. The nation – and Cambridge – is contending with a rash of shootings, something that is portrayed in the new version of the mural.
“I believe art is always with what is going on in the world,” Ms. Moran said as she prepared her paints and equipment for the day’s work. “This is a way for our community to come together.”
She said though the mural features the words, “Black Lives Matter,” the project reflects caring for all people, especially those who suffer from the effects of gun violence. That spirit was reflected in the volunteers, who represented different races and backgrounds.
The work on Saturday was one of many events planned for the weekend to commemorate Juneteenth, the country’s newest federal holiday. The name of the day combines the words June and 19th, the day in 1865 when the last enslaved persons were freed in Texas.
The anniversary meant something special to the many people who gathered downtown to help, bringing supplies, food and displays.
“It feels good when people come together,” Ms. Moran said.