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Activism leads to Juneteeth colors lighting Charlotte skyline
Two days of recognition on tallest buildings
 
Published Friday, June 19, 2020 6:27 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Brittany Moore wrote a letter to Charlotte City Council asking that the city's tallest building be lit to celebrate Juneteenth.

Charlotte is lighting up the sky for Juneteenth.

Juneteenth – June 19, 1865 – celebrates the end of slavery in the confederate states when word of the Emancipation Proclamation’s signing reached Texas. Awareness of the holiday has spread in light of the world’s attention on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Seeing “Black Lives Matter” painted on Tryon Street in Uptown sparked a creative energy in Brittany Moore.

Moore, a United State of Women North Carolina ambassador who advocates for absentee voting, wrote a letter to the City Council asking for the tallest buildings in Charlotte to light up for Juneteenth. On June 19 and 20 they will display the Pan-African flag’s colors – red, black and green – beginning at sunset, around 8:41 p.m. Locations include Bank of America Corporate Center at 100 N Tryon St. and Bank of America Towers at 620 S. Tryon and 300 S. Tryon. The Wells Fargo's Duke Energy Center at 550 S. Tryon will light up on June 20.

“When the city did the Black Lives Matter mural, that spoke to me, because I’ve been saying Black Lives Matter forever,” Moore said. “To see it Uptown on Tryon, I was like, ‘wow.’ It got me excited. The city is ready for this. If we’re saying Black Lives Matter on the street, let’s light up the city.”

Moore thought about the way the city lights up for holidays and events like the Fourth of July and LGBTQ Pride.

Moore’s mentor, Winston Robinson, connected her to the council. She poured her heart out in the letter, and got results.

“One thing to call out is this is not a moment—this is a movement,” Moore said. “I feel like we’re acknowledging it this weekend, and naturally it’s being discussed, but this has never happened before. While I’m happy to be the first person to make this type of request, it should’ve happened before me.”

Yet, the work does not end with paint on the street and lights in the sky. Policy changes must happen, but until then, people can look up and see a glimmer of hope.

“Lighting Uptown is a small step, and I’m aware of that, but it carries weight,” Moore said. “I’m so happy for people to be having these conversations. In my letter to City Council, I said this should be celebrated by all, because it wasn’t just slaves. We weren’t alone. There were abolitionists—people of all races helping to end slavery, and they lost their lives. They made sacrifices as well. This isn’t just a black thing. This is for all of us. It speaks to, as a human race, how we’re treated based on the color of our skin.”
Moore’s work does not end over the weekend. She requested Uptown buildings light up for Juneteenth annually and will also continue advocating for women’s rights, particularly when it comes to voting.

“When you think about the climate we’re in, we’re dealing with a pandemic still,” Moore said. “There is a sister organization, which is co-chaired by Michelle Obama, called When We All Vote. I am focusing on the absentee ballots. I just want people to be prepared. When it comes to absentee ballots, what does that process look like? How can we be proactive, and how can we be prepared?”

 

 

Comments

It was amazing to see! Saying thank you for your work doesn't seem enough.
Posted on July 6, 2020
 
I want to say Thank You for what you did to light the Wells Fargo Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, NC. My children and in-laws live there and they sent me pictures of the city and it was beautiful. Keep up the good work.
Posted on July 2, 2020
 

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