FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A mural is up around the Market House in Fayetteville. It was there that slaves were sold and lynched. The future of the building and its place on the city seal has been questioned in recent weeks.
Artists and volunteers spent hours Monday night making the mural a reality.
“This right here is a start for something,” Fayetteville business owner Bruce Knox said.
They crafted how it would look, realizing the importance of the message.
“It makes me feel really good. Something is being done, a change in the community and city leaders are really thinking about minorities in our communities,” Keith Collins, another Fayetteville business owner said.
The Market House dates back to 1832. It sits in the center of downtown Fayetteville. It has been part of the city’s seal for decades. But, the building and the surrounding area have a history many would like to forget.
That’s where the mural comes in.
“It’s clear the city of Fayetteville says we do not support racism in any format and that black lives matter in this community,” Mayor Mitch Colvin.
Colvin also asked the city council to finally remove the Market House symbol from all city property. That work was approved about five years ago but was never completed. The city council agreed to move forward.
“It’s in our flag. It’s in the lobby of the city hall. It’s in the front of the building. So, it’s in a number of places throughout the organization, so I think the cost, the question, should be, ‘What is the cost of not doing it?'” Colvin said.
People came to watch the mural take shape and had mixed opinions.
“Riots and protesting and everything, everything was getting out of hand. And it just seems like it’s being rewarded by, ‘OK, you can do this now,'” Aberdeen resident Sonja Mullins said.
“Allowing us to put this mural in front of the house really says something. Really shows that things have changed in our community,” Collins said.
The mural reads “End racism now” on one side and “Black lives do matter” on the other.
There’s no timeline for removing the seal from all city property. The council asked for more information on the cost.
Meanwhile, the mayor said the plan is to hold public forums on the future of the Market House in the coming weeks and months.