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“America is black,” New mural in Oklahoma City showcases “diverse group”

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new mural has been installed in Oklahoma City, showcasing a “diverse group of folks.”

The artist, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, posted on Facebook a few friends helped install the black and white mural Sunday.

“After the election, I immediately knew I wanted to make some public art during my trip to Oklahoma in a few weeks for Thanksgiving,” Fazlalizadeh said. “I wanted to make something in a very Republican state that was a challenge to whiteness.”

The text reads:

“America is black. It is native. It wears a hijab. It is a Spanish speaking tongue. It is migrant. It is a woman. It is here. Has been here. And it’s not going anywhere.”

Drawn are four individuals of different backgrounds, including a relative.

“I used a couple of recent drawings, one old drawing, and a drawing I did the day before installing this of my mother, to put together a diverse group of folks,” Fazlalizadeh said.

The artist said the mural isn’t permanent but people’s reactions may be interesting.

“Wheat paste is a temporary medium so I’m interested to watch the life of the piece and any reactions it elicits,” Fazlalizadeh said.

Facebook comments on the post have expressed mixed emotions, ranging from disapproving to supportive.

“‘Wanted to make a challenge to whiteness.’ Way to continue to divide us,” said Clayton Tramel.

“Thank you for creating such a beautiful and healing visual. Never thought I’d see public art like this is OKC or Oklahoma period. Ever. So in love with your work,” said Vanessa Morrison.

The mural’s exact location is on N.W. 23rd between Walker and Dewey.