Defaced 'black lives matter' banner gets Holy Week repair

Just before Good Friday, a "black lives matter" sign at the Church of Our Saviour in East Arlington, defaced three weeks ago, was replaced with no fanfare.

The Rev. Malia Crawford and the Rev. Sue Fisher Seeger went out into the cold mist and hung a new banner outside the church just before the evening’s Maundy Thursday services, which commemorate when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.

On Thursday night, in the midst of Holy Week and its promise of resurrection, the old sign was quietly replaced. Crawford and the Rev. Sue Fisher Seeger went out into the cold mist and hung a new banner outside the church just before the evening’s Maundy Thursday services, which commemorate when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.

The Boston Globe quoted Rev Crawford: "'We won’t let evil have the final word' is more important than saying 'evil never happened.'"

the Rev. Marta Flanagan, left, watches as new banner is installed at First Parish on Oct. 27.With a TV camera and participants, the Rev. Marta Flanagan, left, watches as new banner is installed at First Parish on Oct. 27.

Members of the Episcopal congregation on Marathon Street added artwork to the defaced sign as a way to practice healing and solidarity with those in society who suffer from injustice.

Read The Globe story here >>

Last Oct. 27, the social-witness banner saying "black lives matter" was restored at rush hour outside First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church.


Globe, Nov. 2: Jamaica Plain church replaces stolen banner


The echoes of the phrase, repeated among an estimated 60 people gathered beneath a giant tree, went beyond Mass. Ave. and Pleasant, as other Arlington religious institutions expressed their support.

Trinity Baptist Church, at 115 Mass. Ave., East Arlington, has erected some signs of its own, Moderator Lisa Deeley Smith reported. See a series here >>

Listed as supporters in a handout provided by First Parish are clergy and members from the Bethany House of Prayer, Calvary United Methodist Church, Church of Our Savior (Episcopalian) and Park Avenue Congregational Church.

In an act that supporters said was vandalism, occurring between Oct. 17 or 18, the sign had the word "black" whited out with spray paint and its metal frame bent.

The Rev. Marta Morris Flanagan, minister at First Parish, told those gathered Oct. 27 that she was making a "plea for understanding about why we must say 'black lives matter.'"

As she spoke, her comments repeated "black lives matter," as if to reassert its whited-out image.

She said she was making a "plea for understanding about why we must say the three words.


Related links

Trinity Baptist Facebook >>

Other photos >>

Why say 'Black Lives Matter' by Lori Kenschaft

Oct. 27, Globe: Arlington church will replace defaced ‘Black Lives Matter’ banner


This story was published Friday, March 25, 2016.