A Billboard That Matters
A beacon, a promise, a rallying cry.
Maichina Veri, November 04, 2022 // Brantford, OntarioBrantford's Black Lives Matter billboard is located near 330 West St. Photo credit Geoff Fitzgerald.
In the tumultuous summer of 2020, protests echoed through news channels across North America in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In reaction to George Floyd’s death, and countless deaths before his, a wave of people rose in the wake of a pandemic in a mission to overcome white supremacy and create space for Black lives to thrive.
There were people acting in this movement as well in our own community. There were well-attended marches with speakers, including Brantford police chief Rob Davis, sharing their stories. Unite Against Hate!, a community resource for anti-racist education, collaboration and support, was founded in this turmoil. In addition to this, a billboard appeared on West Street that simply, but powerfully, read: BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Black Lives Matter here and around the world. Photo credit Geoff Fitzgerald.
It is now 2022 and this billboard remains. It was and still is anonymously funded and serves as a rallying cry for all Black lives and a reminder that we must not forget or take lightly the fact we live in a system built on deadly racial oppression and we must all work to eradicate the injustices in this system.
While there have been a few complaints against this billboard, there has been more celebration, pride and positive recognition. The billboard acts as a beacon of hope, a promise to community and a call for all of us to work toward anti-racism.
This billboard is located near 330 West St. in Brantford, which is on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishnawbe and Neutral Peoples.
To connect with Unite Against Hate! please CLICK HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maichina Veri is a writer based in Brantford, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Montreal’s Concordia University and has a background in Journalism – Print from Niagara College.