Our Black Lives Matter Banner
A Very Brief History
of the Black Lives Matter Banner
At First Unitarian
Active in racial justice issues for decades, First Unitarian put up the Black Lives Matter (BLM) banner in May of 2015, about ten months after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. During those ten months, the church had formed working relationships with the Denver Freedom Riders (a precursor organization to Black Lives Matter 5280) and hosted several Black Lives Matter rallies and educational events at our church.
The first time the banner was vandalized was in October that same year (2015). Red paint was splashed on the banner and on the stone wall of the church. Two days later, about twenty members of Black Lives Matter 5280 showed up with ladders, a power washer, brooms and rakes to clean up the vandalism and the property.
The original sign was replaced, and the second sign was again vandalized, in exactly the same way, almost exactly one year later.
At that point, the Black and People of Color members of First Unitarian Denver were asked what they wanted to do: should we replace the banner again, or should we leave it up with the vandalism in place?
Our members of color responded overwhelmingly that the banner should remain with the vandalism prominently displayed, feeling that this made a more powerful statement about the struggle for Black lives and the ever-present resistance to racial justice.
That is why our BLM banner remains, and will remain, until Black lives truly do matter in this complex and deeply radicalized country.
Until then, First Unitarian Denver remains committed to racial justice, dismantling white supremacy and white supremacy culture, working towards reparations, and supporting Black owned businesses whenever possible.