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Knoxville Black Lives Matter mural to be repainted following vandalism

The mural was defaced on July 29.
Volunteers repainting the BLM mural outside of Austin East High School.
Volunteers repainting the BLM mural outside of Austin East High School.(WVLT)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 6:57 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2020 at 9:53 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Black Lives Matter mural painted outside Austin-East High School is being repainted after a vandalism incident in July.

Community volunteers repainted the mural outside of the high school Saturday morning.

“If we don’t repaint then we let heat be the victor and that’s what’s not going to be the victory. The victory is going to be love and so we repainted it to demonstrate the love that is going to continue. The empowerment and inspiration that this message brings to the community are for the students the businesses and everybody who drives down the street,” said volunteer, Constance Every.

WVLT News Abby Kousouris reported, Angelica Smith and her 2-year-old daughter spent the morning taping around each letter.

“I want to be that mom to be like, ‘hey I was at all these events and if I can stand up for my brothers and sisters regardless of what color they are than you can too,‘” said Smith.

Every says they plan to complete the mural by Saturday to make sure it is completed before students arrive to school on Monday morning.

The mural was defaced on July 29. KPD said they discovered a black paint-like substance had been poured out on the roadway in two separate places along the mural.

In a post on Facebook, community organizers said they plan to “paint the hurt away and use this space as an opportunity to heal and grow together.”

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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