ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Elizabeth City is one step closer to commissioning a 720-ft. Black Lives Matter mural.
“We hope that it is something powerful and positive and impactful,” said Elizabeth City City Manager Montre Freeman.
Four artists submitted designs, and voting is now underway on the city website until June 16 at 6 a.m.
Elizabeth City City Council voted 6-1 last month to have the words "Black Lives Matter" painted on the street overlooking the sheriff’s office.
“It’s a cry for unity, right. It’s a cry for civility. It is a cry for justice. It is a cry for equality,” said Freeman.
The vote came just weeks after Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced the deputies who fatally shot Brown would not face charges.
The mural will be span three blocks of East Colonial Avenue between North Road Street and North MLK Jr. Drive.
Anyone can cast a vote on the city website, regardless of where they live.
The three artists whose designs are not chosen are invited to help paint the mural that is selected. They’ll all be working as volunteers, but the city will provide the paint and supplies.
“It’s a step that creates a narrative for people of different walks and different backgrounds and different religious practices and different beliefs to be able to coexist and create some synergy."
The winning design will be announced next Saturday during a Juneteenth ceremony. Artists will begin work on the mural at that time, and the city hopes it will be finished by July 3 but says they won’t rush the project.
“We will become a stronger, better Elizabeth City and we are still the harbor of hospitality and we are still the beautiful city on the water," said Freeman.