ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) – Elizabeth City leaders kicked off their Juneteenth celebrations by recognizing the winning Black Lives Matter mural design artist.
After receiving the most votes from the community on his design, 26-year-old Michael Little says he’s ready to leave his mark on the city he grew up in.
Hundreds of people have walked on Colonial Avenue in Elizabeth City since the death of Andrew Brown by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies.
Now, the street remains quiet as Little prepares to leave his mark with the new Black Lives Matter mural he designed.
“They wanted something that tells people that, like that gives off the warmth of Elizabeth City,” said Little. “And what better way to do that than to choose like the flag to help inspire the design.”
Before Brown’s death, Little says he never thought something like that would happen in his quiet hometown.
“A lot of people are connected here, everybody knows each other,” he said. “So I thought like, ‘Yeah, that would never happen here’ cause like, once it goes down here, everybody is going to know about it.”
Once Elizabeth City gained national attention, he said he wanted to find a way to inspire a continued fight for equal treatment and representation for African Americans.
“At times, it just doesn’t feel like we as a people, African Americans, are actually citizens of this country,” he said. “We’re treated like second-class citizens.”
An educator by trade, Little says he’s still surprised he won and is ready to get started on something he hopes will continue to inspire and educate the community for many years to come.
“That’s the main reason I’m still here,” he said. “I’m still doing what I needed to do, wanted to do. It’s, in a way, it’s immortality cause I’m now going down in history with the city.”
Little says he’s looking to get started on the mural on Monday, with the hopes of finishing it before the Fourth of July.