Springfield "Say Their Names" Mural Honors Black Lives Lost


In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, one Springfield organization has stepped up to bring attention to the dozens of black people who have been killed in the past year.

Ronn Johnson, the President of the Martin Luther King Jr Family Services, says he had sought a way to present a message and to pay respects to Floyd.

According to WHYN, "Johnson says that a mural commissioned for the side of the Lawton Street building that houses the Family Services Center was completed." The project took two days to complete, and was painted by three artists - Wane One, Nero, and Souls NYC.

Artist Wane One shared a photo of the project on Instagram.

"SAY THEIR NAMES lists names from the more than 60 black and brown people who were unarmed when they were killed by the police in the last 12 months," Wane One writes. "It also [includes] the names of 7 Springfield residents who were killed by police."

The mural "Say Their Name" is important. Johnson says it shows that they were simply not a statistic but a human being.

"We commemorate the lives of good black, brown men and women who had their lives snuffed out due to an altercation with a law enforcement official," Johnson says.

Besides the mural itself, people have been writing messages on dove cutouts with messages of hope.

Massachusetts Senator James Welch shared a photo of the mural on Twitter, writing, "This morning communities came together at the MLK Family Services to kick off a mural inspired by the death of George Floyd painted by internationally-known muralist and graffiti artist Wane One with assistance from Nero & Souls."

Photographer Isabella Dellolio captured portraits of local Springfield community members, including Rosemary Tracy Woods, owner of Art For The Soul Gallery, and Ronn Johnson, in front of the mural in a series she shared on Instagram.

Photo: John Baibak/iHeartMedia

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