Photos from book release event have been provided

When Alandes Powell, executive director of Black Art Speaks (BAS), wrote the poem, “We Want What You Want,” she didn’t realize that her words would become the impetus for Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter! Mural. The mural located on Plum Street in Downtown Cincinnati is in front of City Hall. Each letter visually stands for a line in the poem.

BAS, a non-profit organization helping artists expand their voices through the power of art and the artists who created the mural, are releasing a coffee table book titled, “The Making of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter! Mural.” The book offers readers behind-the-scenes information and supplies thought-provoking and stimulating imagery compiled by Stephen Smith, the book’s graphic designer. In less than 20 hours over the course of three days, 17 Black lead-artists and a host of volunteers were united by a vision of seeing the words of a poem brought to life.

Authors Alandes Powell and Danielle Lewis Jones agree, “The book is a piece of art and history as it documents the feelings and emotions of each artist as they worked quickly to deliver a piece that echoes a need for change.”

Chanda Monroe-Williams, editor and project manager of “The Making of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter! Mural’’ book, said, “We are pleased to present an insightful work of art that memorializes a movement, elevates Black Artists and sustains a nonprofit.”  

An official book launch and signing event was hosted recently by premium sponsors — Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and ArtsWave —at the foundation’s Haile Community Hub on E. Pete Rose Way. Titled as “The Making of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter! Mural,” the event featured dancers, a spoken word artist, an artists’ showcase and a panel discussion about the mural and the book. All proceeds from the book sales go to Black Art Speaks, which will continue to help the artist organization do projects in the community. People can learn more and purchase the book at

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