‘Power to the People’ street mural unveiled by Detroit artists

The crowd cheered as renowned artist Hubert Massey and several students were recognized Friday during the unveiling of the Lower Woodward “Power to the People” street mural.
The unveiling took place at Spirit Plaza, which is across the street from the block-long Woodward Avenue mural. The event started with an ancestral incantation and prayer, along with a member of the Detroit Youth Choir performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged the talent of the student artists, Massey and the people who made the mural happen.
“A year ago, Charity Dean said we are going to celebrate Juneteenth in this city,” Duggan said. “We not only celebrate freedom, but we reflect on how far we have to go in this country to get real racial justice.
“Today, we want to celebrate our young people and what they have to contribute.”
Rochelle Riley, Detroit director of arts and culture and a former Free Press columnist, said the city is going to to lead the nation on how to work together. She said the students knew what they wanted to accomplish.
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“I have never felt more assured that our future is in good hands than working with these kids,” said Riley. “They are smart. They’re intellectually powerful. They know their stuff, and they know what has to be done. I can’t wait for them to be unleashed in the world.”
Massey, the artist chosen to lead the project, said he was happy to see the mural’s impact.
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“Detroit is a totally unique environment,” said Massey. “Black lives matter, but Detroit has its own way of doing things. And this one – “Power to the People” – this is Detroit speaking.”
Massey said that the O in the word ‘”power” was painted red to honor the lives that have been lost to police brutality. He signed the O during the unveiling. Massey said he is proud of young people trying to make a change in 2020, just as they did in the 1960s.
“You can feel the difference,” Massey said. “It’s going to be a different change, and it’s all happening right now in this day in time.”
Massey said the mural is here to stay.
The student artists were eager to take photos.
“Today is a momentous day because we’re all together,” said student artist Kristian Matthews, 17, from Detroit Leadership Academy. “I’ve never been to a Juneteenth celebration, so for me, this is big. I love being here.
“We need to be together, not all this white, Black stuff. If everybody is together, something will get done.”
Perriel Pace, 14, of Legacy Academy said that Detroit is known for the good and bad. She hoped that the street mural will give Detroit a good name.
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