Lawrence Residents Celebrate Juneteenth By Repainting BLM Mural

Mural organizers Jason Reyes (L) and Michael Bastien (R). Photo: Suzanne Sausville/WBZ NewsRadio

LAWRENCE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Groups of volunteers braved the baking summer heat in Lawrence on Sunday to repaint a massive Black Lives Matter mural.

The bright yellow mural was originally painted last October off of Campagnone Park. Organizers Michael Bastien and Jason Reyes raised money and got the approval to paint the original mural, but in the months since, it's faded. Bastien and Reyes were back at it again on Sunday to repaint the mural in honor of the state's — and country's — first official Juneteenth, along with plenty of volunteers.

"People have a misunderstanding of what's here...we are predominantly Hispanic, but we have white, we have African-American, we have Asian... when it's their day, we support each other," said Bastien.

Juneteenth — the celebration of the last slaves in the United States being freed after the Civil War — became a state and federal holiday this year.

Bastien said he wants to make sure Juneteenth is celebrated as a holiday by the city for years to come. Reyes said the mural is at least in part about uplifting the city's youth:

"A lot of youth come to the YMCA... they see this and they think, 'wow, this is what Lawrence is capable of doing,' and they're inspired by it," he said.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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