Chromasonic Funkticolor: Bicycle Rally for Black Lives
Starpilots from all over the galaxy gathered on the Buttonwood launchpad, many for the first time, to share their stories and explore New Bedford’s many murals and monuments dedicated to Black history. Adorned in spacesuits of neon, twenty-five brave space adventurers blasted off at the speed of funk in search of peace, unity, and maybe to learn a little something along the way. Joined by representatives from both the NB Black Lives Matter Movement and Collective for Change NB, we flew to 19 historical and cultural landmarks with a few stops for discussion and reflection.
Having been suspended in hypersleep for some months, the Mission leader was a bit out of practice and navigation suffered a bit of turbulence but the crew survived, mostly unscathed, and feeling emotionally uplifted. At our first stop, the Lunar NAACP & Memorial Square, the detachment from C4CNB said a few words. He spoke of the importance of community, maintaining a positive vision of the future as we work together to overcome the challenges of today. Next, we flew around Sgt. William H. Carney Academy, past a graffiti-style mural promoting math and science, and to Magnett Park in the heart of the Temple Landing constellation.
There we discovered a relatively small monument, a stone bearing the names of several people who have passed, evoking significant events in New Bedford's history. Under that stone reads a single word, "peace". Among the names listed is 17-year old Lester Lima, whose murder in-part sparked what would be known as the New Bedford "Race Riots" of 1970. The park, itself is named for James Magnett, a local activist whose unlawful arrest perhaps heralded the period of civil unrest over brutality and violence at the hands of Storm Trooper forces.
After a moment of contemplation and reflection, we followed the signals to thew Lewis Temple monument outside Citadel Prime. A powerful speaker from the NB Black Lives Matter Movement delivered a rousing speech about the often overlooked myriad accomplishments and technological advances made by People of Color. Then, we flew past the Labor History Mural to the Frederick Douglass House and the future site of Abolition Row Park Constellation, on our way to the Southern Quadrant of the NBS to Tom D. Lopes Park. At the recommendation of C4CNB, we flew to the Bisca Tournament Club mural and finally to the Create os Futuro mural, where we deployed chalkbag in full force, transmitting hopeful messages into the world.
In times such as these, when the violence of the moment seems to shake the entire universe, it’s easy to find fault in everything. It’s easy to either be consumed with righteous and blinding rage or succumb to a deep and nebulous loss of ambition. Certainly, there is fault in everything. The myriad machines of the Galactic Republic loom large and their tendrils are embedded into the very fabric of our reality. But there is still hope and there are reasons to keep moving forward.
In the face of this seemingly insurmountable adversity, there are beacons with messages of resilience, ingenuity, and love which have echoed throughout time and space. These beacons may not be immediately recognizable and some are vibrant expressions of polychromatic goodness. New Bedford is full of such beacons. If you know where to look and listen closely, you will certainly pick up their signal.
Chromasonic Funkticolor stickers are available with donation by transmitting your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or Venmo: “civitron”. $5/each or $10/set of three. Designed by local illustrators, Kailey Barros and Quinn Soares. All proceeds benefit the NB Black Lives Matter Movement and Collective for Change NB.
- Monument to Black Service Men & Women (Rockdale & Court, Buttonwood Park)
- NAACP & Memorial Square (Kempton & Cedar)
- Carney Academy (Cottage & Kempton)
- Temple Landing Peace Memorial (Cedar St, Temple Landing)
- Lewis Temple Monument (Pleasant St, NB Public Library)
- Frederick Douglass Plaque (William St, NB City Hall)
- Labor History Mural (Sixth St, NB District Court)
- Nathan & Polly Johnson House / Frederick Douglass House (7th & Spring)
- Abolition Park (7th & Spring)
- Our Lady of Assumption Church (47 S. 6th St)
- Thomas D. Lopes Park (S. 6th & County)
- Cape Verdean American Veterans Memorial Square (County & Pleasant)
- Bisca Tournament Club Mural (161 Acushnet Ave)
- Create os Futuro Mural (S. Water & Division)
- Liberty Hall Bell Plaque (Purchase & William)
- 54th Regiment Volunteer Infantry Plaza & Mural (William St, Custom House Square)
- Love Mural (Wings Court)
- Postcards to New Bedford (Purchase & Elm)
- Sgt. William H. Carney House & Martha Briggs Educational Club (128 Mill St)