The Phoenix Suns tipped off Black History Month with a new mural unveiled at footprint Center in partnership with the Black History Mural Project.
Gizette Knight, founder of mural project which celebrates the past, present and future of Black History through artful expression feels a strong sense of empowerment and accomplishment to see her initiative continue. The project was born from the Black Lives Matter move- ment in the summer of 2020.
“I was a leader in that movement, I conducted marches and as they started to die down, so did the momentum. I came up with this idea to keep the momentum going.”
The inspiration was drawn from the Black Lives Matter street murals that were completed in several metropolitan U.S. cities. Following fundraising and several meetings to replicate in Phoenix, Knight’s plan shifted and the project was created.
In its first year, 28 murals (for the 28 days of February’s Black History Month), Knight collaborated with artists and local organizations, including the Suns and Mercury, to display and honor Black history through art.
As part of the unveiling event, a rich conversation around the past, present and future of Black History took place with a panel hosted by Suns broadcaster and alumni Eddie Johnson. The panel featured: Suns General Manager James Jones; President of West Valley Arts Council Sandra Bassett; Director of Economic Empowerment for Greater Phoenix Urban League Jerry McPherson; and Founder and President of Arizona State University’s Project Humanity Dr. Neal Lester.