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SALT LAKE CITY — All across Utah, people are finding creative ways to fight for racial justice, mourn loss and heal. One of them will last long after the protests are over.
On 800 South in the Granary District of downtown Salt Lake City, mural artists add color and flavor. There’s an old-fashioned bar on the side of a locally-owned brewery, and a Southern Utah landscape on another building. Down the street, on the south corner of 800 South and 300 West, there’s a new mural that’s far more potent.
“We’ve been watching people stop and take pictures, and there’s flowers that are starting to appear over there,” said Tim Dwyer, co-owner of Fisher Brewing. It’s got people digging deep, asking questions.
“If you ever wonder what you would’ve done during the civil rights movement or during slavery or through the holocaust, you’re doing that right now,” said Amy Burrows, who brought her two children to visit the mural.
“I think it is a way for people to grieve and kind of connect with this issue that’s now kind of reverberating across the country,” Dwyer said.
If you ever wonder what you would’ve done during the civil rights movement or during slavery or through the holocaust, you’re doing that right now.
It’s a larger-than-life image of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck in a tragedy that has rocked the nation.
An artist, who wished to remain anonymous, painted the mural of Floyd on a city-owned building that’s sometimes used to train police officers and firemen. Neighbors said it’s a powerful and welcome addition.
“It’s really easy to forget, and go back to our normal lives and forget about this issue. It’s a good reminder, looking at it, that this is something that we have to constantly be working towards,” said Jen Dar.
Ashley Cleveland brought her 3-year-old daughter, Audrey.
“It’s going to be a part of her reality if we don’t fix it,” said Cleveland, who stopped on the side of the road to take photos and to let her daughter see it. “Freedom is living without fear. Until that’s possible, we’re not gonna have it.”
People were paying respects to a life lost.
“I hope that his name is the last one that gets added to that list of names,” said Bonnie Weiss.