Designer of Black Lives Matter mural in Elizabeth City reflects on its impact after vandalism

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) – Months after the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, the protests continue and artwork spreading the message of Black Lives Matter has been taken to the street — literally.

Michael Little made his mark on Elizabeth City with his mural design after a city-wide contest, which he says is the close to a difficult chapter in his hometown’s history.

“[Let’s] have this all behind us,” he said. “Remember what happened here, but at the same time, let’s not be mad about it. Let’s not keep the anger. Let’s just get it done.”

Little made sure to include small but powerful details in his design on Colonial Avenue, explaining why he used a crown to dot the letter ’I’.

“We should treat each other as if we’re kings, queens. We should respect each other as such instead of fighting each other or just fighting anybody else in general,” he said. “Let’s respect them. Let’s hear them out.”

On Tuesday, an Elizabeth City man was arrested and accused of vandalizing the mural.

But Little says he’s not bothered by the vandalism.

“It just validates what we’re fighting for,” he said. “It just shows that when you do have a problem, if somebody just doesn’t care about our message like that, they just to drive all over it like that.”

Little didn’t do all that painting alone. He says he and the other people who helped him paint the mural will do whatever it takes to preserve this permanent message.

He wants to thank his friends, family, and local artists — including Jimmy Bones — for all the help to finish the mural.

“It doesn’t matter how many times that’s going to happen,” he said. “Somebody, if not me or Bones or somebody else, that’s going to get fixed. And we will. No matter how many times it happens, we’re going to fix it.”

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