Murals celebrating Black women activists will pop up in Brooklyn this summer, starting with Juneteenth.
The first of these murals will be unveiled today. The work is the creation of artist-activist Helena Metaferia, who is primarily active in Harlem and Brooklyn. The mural depicts Wildcat Ebony Brown, another artist from Brooklyn. The mural also depicts small artworks of scenes about the civil rights protests and important moments of the era. Beneath the mural, a text reads: “Where would democracy be without Black women?”
The idea to depict another artist in the mural was an interesting one. According to Metafaria, she did this to throw light on fellow Black women who are doing amazing work but not given their due recognition. She said that it was a way for “reclaiming that image”. The scenes depicted in the mural were all clippings taken from old Kenyan and Ethiopian travel magazines.
The mural is located at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art. It will be unveiled during a grander event organized by art groups Wide Awakes (of which Metaferia is a member) and The Blacksmiths on Juneteenth. However, Metaferia’s work is just one of the 10 projects which are scheduled to be unveiled across New York this summer. The project is sponsored by Not A Monolith, which is an initiative of Art Bridge for Black artists. The project has enlisted 5 artists to create 10 murals across the construction spaces in New York’s 5 Burroughs. Apart from Metaferia, other fellows include Paul Deo, Dana Robinson, Jeff Kasper, and Glori J. Tuitt.