Yates High School graduate bringing Black Lives Matter mural to Third Ward community

HOUSTON – A Jack Yates High School graduate is bringing a massive mural to Houston’s Third Ward community. The Black Lives Matter-inspired street painting is located across from the school on West Alabama Street.

The mural will recognize the life of George Floyd, whose death sparked protests across the country. Floyd was also a Jack Yates High School graduate.

“After the word matter, we are going to have a George Floyd football Jersey. Before black, it’s going to be an emblem of the mascot, the lion, and above it will say, ‘The Lions United together,’” said Jonah Elijah, the Houston artist behind the mural. He has been painting for five years.

Volunteers and workers from the City of Houston’s Public Work’s Department came out Thursday morning to work on the mural, which stretches two blocks low.

“This school, this street, this area is so historical,” said volunteer Brittany Torres. “This moment in time it’s a big push and I had to be a part of it.”

Elijah is thankful the community came out to be apart of his mission.

“I knew I couldn’t do this by myself and just having the volunteers that’s what it’s all about us coming together and making this statement that we are painting on the ground,” Elijah said.

He continued: “I’m doing this because I feel like this will send out a great message to us in this community and also a message to people who don’t think Black Lives Matter. I think it’s a reoccurring thing that we should keep pushing into the minds of those that don’t think our lives matter.”

The Black Lives Matter movement changed the world and now part of it will be right here in Houston.

“It’s pushing us to be more unified and to be more in a core with each other,” Elijah said.

Elijah said Jake Yates is providing the paint for the mural while Floyd’s teammates also helped get everything together. Volunteers and workers will finish painting on Friday.

After a private unveiling of the mural, the mural will open to the public on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a parade with students from Texas Southern University and Jack Yates High School.