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Sculpture to promote solidarity lit up in downtown Lexington Tuesday

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 11:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington streamlined a project in the wake of protests over racial injustice across the country.

Unlearn fear and hate. It’s a message now prominently displayed in part of the city.

The words come from a poem by Frank X. Walker, Kentucky’s first African American poet laureate.

Now those words are lit up in solidarity with the protesters who march the streets in that area each night.

“We wanted to make sure this was a message that carries throughout Lexington and throughout this time of unrest and we wanted to put our support behind that message in the midst of these protests," said Ame Sweetall, Interim VP and CEO of LexArts.

It’s a sculpture that has been on the side of a building near Cheapside for about a year now.

The long-term plan was always to permanently light it up, but the current atmosphere turned that into a short-term plan.

“We really wanted to do something to support the black lives matter movement and we thought it was a great time now heading into the twelfth night of protests here in our own city," said Vice President of Lexington NAACP Adrian Wallace.

Sweetall says some corporate leaders quickly came forward to pay for the lighting.

“I’m hoping that this message really helps generate a lot more conversation, if we begin to unlearn fear and hate and begin to learn our history I believe we can truly create a true community," said Sweetall.

The sculpture was a joint effort between LexArts and the NAACP.

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