Black History Month: One Lynn, One Love

LYNN, Mass. — “It hurt. You felt it all over. You felt it a lot more; all over the place.“

Carlos Prudencio and Damianny Garrido had experienced racism and colorism in the Latinx community but the murder of George Floyd hit them differently. More deeply.

And it spurred them to action in their community of Lynn.

“There are a lot of Afro-Latinos here and their lives matter,” says Prudencio. “Latinos and black people have a lot of shared history between each other and I guess that’s where the old generation of Latinx people kind of forget.“

The two created “One Lynn, One Love,” bringing together artists to create this Black Lives Matter mural last summer.

It begins in front of the courthouse on Essex Street continuing to the front of Lynn District Court.

”It brings people together. It’s like marching. It’s like the same thing, but we’re just on the floor painting,” says Damianny Garrido.

The fight for the funding and permission to paint it wasn’t an easy one.

Damianny tells me she remembers being in tears, more than once, when adults in power called them stupid kids or dismissed their ideas.

But she and Carlos were determined to succeed.

”I would say, have an idea, take that idea to someone that believes in that idea. Even if you don’t find that person on the first try. Find that person, and then ask them to help you,“ adds Prudencio.

The two attend American University studying public health and international relations now. The photos and accolades for the mural project now in the Lynn Museum.

The mural has since faded a bit but the message remains bold.

“We also knew, one, that the mural wouldn’t stay forever. And two, that the mural wouldn’t magically fix anything. But we thought it would be a great way to symbolize a coming together of people.“

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