TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — UPDATE: The city of Tulsa announced Monday afternoon that it will move forward with the removal of the “Black Lives Matter” painting on Greenwood Avenue.
The removal has not been scheduled.
The city said it delayed the removal in order to engage folks in the Greenwood District.
Now that those talks have taken place, the city has concluded that property owners and the merchant association don’t want the mural to remain.
The city also said this sets a precedent that city streets could be painted with political messages.
The city’s news release reads:
“Utilization of any city street as a public forum would open every city street in town - both main streets and neighborhood streets - to similar use. Following the City Council’s determination last week not to issue a permit and the conclusion of stakeholder discussions today, the City will now proceed with removal of the mural when such action can be scheduled.”
Some local leaders, such as state Sen. Kevin Matthews, had hoped the mural would remain in the historic Greenwood District, once destroyed by the 1921 Race Massacre.
"I think it certainly shows, when this is removed, what it will look like is that the opinions and the feelings of black people don’t matter," explained Matthews.
Others had hoped for another option to keep the mural, possibly privatizing the road.
"My only concern with that is that when we privatize a street, the city is longer responsible for upkeep and maintenance. Streets are very expensive to maintain," said Vanessa Hall Harper, city councilor.
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The city of Tulsa announced that the Black Lives Matter mural on Greenwood will not be removed today as planned.
The decision comes after a group gathered on Greenwood this morning to protest its removal by covering the mural with the names of those who have been the victims of racially motivated violence.
Officials with the city said, "There is no plan to remove it today. The City is working on the best solution moving forward."
More than 11,000 people have signed a petition in favor of keeping the mural in Greenwood.