PAINTING ON HATE
Little Rock attorney Chris Attig was walking across the MacArthur Park Viaduct to Bragg Street in a race on September 26 when they were faced with ugliness and hatred. A racial insult had been spray painted on the wall of the viaduct.
Attig, who uses the pronouns them and them, returned that afternoon to take a photo of the word.
They thought they would report it to the city, but were worried that a black employee would be sent to “clean up what is essentially white supremacy.”
“My wife and I talked about cleaning it up next weekend,” Attig says, but first they posted an edited version of the photo on the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Association Facebook page asking for advice on how to proceed.
“The answers have just taken off,” they say. Shortly after the post was published, the insult was covered with a mural depicting a hummingbird and the words “More human kindness.”
“It had to be done,” explains artist X3MEX, who painted the mural after seeing the post.
The viaduct is maintained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation. In a September 27 THV11 report on the Jade Jackson incident, the department’s Dave Parker said the walls should be painted the same color to facilitate inspections, and recommended that people contact the department about graffiti or Other problems.
The response to the Facebook post has been encouraging, Attig notes, but “we have a lot of work to do in this state to eliminate white supremacy and gender inequality. I’m not sure if this story says we’re doing bad things. good job, but it speaks to the power of art to silence white supremacy. ”
STRICKLIN SAYS GOODBYE
In January 2005, David Stricklin was about to take a sabbatical after teaching history at Lyon College in Batesville.
Instead, he signed on as the head of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. Two years ago, he was appointed Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement for the System.
It’s all in the rearview mirror now, as Stricklin, 69, retired on Friday.
He has seen first-hand the growth of CALS over the years, including the roll-out of the popular Arkansas Online Encyclopedia and the opening of the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art to the marketplace of Little Rock River.
“The library is such a powerhouse,” he said early last week. “It has been such an honor to work for an organization that is so connected to the things that people need.… It’s an important part of people’s lives.”
Stricklin will stay busy; he is involved in a project for the future Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture in Tulsa.
“I’ll go home Friday afternoon, then Monday morning I’ll go work for OKPOP.”
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