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(Austonia)

Black Austin Matters is painted across Congress Avenue.

Spanning across three blocks on Congress Avenue, "Black Austin Matters" is now painted on the street in downtown Austin. Austin follows other big cities—Washington D.C., Sacramento, Oakland and Raleigh among them—which have completed similar projects amid protests against police brutality.


(Austonia)

The project— a partnership between Capitol View Arts and Austin Justice Coalition with help from the city—started early in the morning Tuesday with the outline of the letters. It was posted on the city's transportation department Twitter, with the words leading straight to the capitol.

At 1:21 p.m., Austin Justice Coalition's executive director and cofounder Chas Moore took to Twitter to clarify that the city helped with stenciling and the logistics of the project—and that all the black artists were getting paid.

Moore tweeted the mural was to make a statement about how racist Austin is. He also tweeted why they went with "Black Austin Matters," instead of "Black Lives Matter."

"How can 'Black Lives Matter' to Austin and the majority of people that live in Austin, if they don't even care about the Black people in the City? So until Black Austin Matters... the City, and the people in the city can't graduate to Black Lives Matter."

Danny Russo, 52, was on a morning run when he came across a blocked-off Congress Avenue at Sixth Street. He snapped a photo that he posted to Instagram. At the time, only the outline was completed.

"It shows the solidarity of the city with the Black Lives Matter movement," Russo said. "I've seen it in other cities, and I think it's amazing they are putting it in Austin."

Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, Calif. are two other cities with Black Lives Matter painted on the street in the wake of a call for racial equality with protests for the end of police brutality.

Another mural is set to go up on the East Side of Austin on Thursday.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Chas Moore.

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