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‘No longer enough to say you’re a good person and do nothing’ | Mexican artist creating Black Lives Matter murals in Charlotte

He said he felt called to make the mural, which is highly visible on North Davidson Street, after the world watched George Floyd's death.
Credit: WCNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the two weeks since George Floyd died in Minneapolis Police custody, communities across the country have responded with protest, demands for change, and art to keep the conversation going. 

Alex DeLarge, with Southern Tiger Collective, created two murals in Charlotte's art district NoDa and says he plans to do much more.

"I watched the video of his murder and cried for another grown man I could do nothing to help," DeLarge said, in part, on Instagram. "[I'm] a brown Mexican man and I’ve seen racism throughout my life."

Last week, he shared the first mural — a list of names of those who have died in incidents involving police. 

The list has at least 11 names, but DeLarge said in an Instagram post he knows there are enough cases to fill a wall. Some of the names include those who have died within the past few months: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee.

"As an artist and painter I’m obligated to remind those of you who have the privilege of ignoring these truths your American dream is built on a black reality," DeLarge said, in part, on Instagram. "This is just the start. I’ve left room for more and unfortunately I’m certain I can fill it from top to bottom with the names of innocent lives taken away by a system designed to fail us."

DeLarge said he's scared, hurt and angry, and promises to do more to stand with and fight for his "black and brown brothers and sisters."

He said he felt called to make the mural, which is highly visible as drivers pass Abari Game Bar on North Davidson Street, after the world watched George Floyd's death.  He said it's "no longer enough to say you’re a good person and do nothing."

Then days later, DeLarge shared another mural, this one on the side of Abari Game Bar. With a yellow background, it reads in large letters a simple phrase: "Black Lives Matter."

DeLarge says he wants to create art like this around the city of Charlotte, especially in places that are highly visible both to drivers and pedestrians. 

"I'll do this anywhere in Charlotte that will allow it or wants to show their support in this very real world not just from the safety of their cell phone screens," DeLarge said in a post. 

He also urged his fellow artists in the community to do the same — use their skill and their voice for the cause.

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