'Black lives matter is not just a movement': BLM billboard set to go up in Elizabeth City

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Black Lives Matter billboard set to go up in Elizabeth City
Nearly 100 days since the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a new symbol will emerge just blocks from where he was killed by law enforcement officers.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Nearly 200 miles east of the Triangle, Elizabeth City has propelled North Carolina into the national spotlight. It's marred by the familiar symbol of Black men and boys killed by law enforcement. April 21, 2021 was no different. Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was killed in front of his home as deputies said they were serving warrants.

"I saw a lot of cops. It was a big blue wall of cops. They were going to stick with each other no matter what. On the flip side, I saw Black and brown individuals. We were sticking together, no matter what," said Elizabeth City resident Alana Houston. "Demonstrations are still going on as we speak."

As Thursday marks 100 days since his killing, a new symbol is set to emerge over the city of almost 18,000 people, just blocks from where Brown was killed.

"Black lives matter is not just a movement, it's a lifestyle," said social justice activist Kerwin Pittman.

He is the executive director of RREPS and field director with Emancipate NC. Both nonprofits are behind a billboard in Elizabeth City with the words "Black Lives Matter" on it.

"This billboard will be located in a special spot on a street called Ehringhaus. It's the epicenter for the town's economics. One of the main thoroughfares we shut down every day to bring awareness to Andrew Brown," said Pittman.

The Black lives matter billboard is slated to go up Wednesday. Organizers say it will be in place for the next four weeks.