Salt Lake City Businesses Continue Showing Support for BLM Movement Months After Summer Protests

Store+windows+at+Thyme+and+Place+Friday+morning%2C+showing+their+support+for+the+Black+Lives+Matter+Movement.+%28Photo+by+Maya+Fraser+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

Store windows at Thyme and Place Friday morning, showing their support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. (Photo by Maya Fraser | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Porshai Nielsen, News Writer

 

After the murder of George Floyd and Breona Taylor, local artists and businesses around the Salt Lake City area have collaborated to show support for the Black Lives Matter Movement and the LGTBQ+ community. Local cafes, restaurants and retail stores have hung flyers in the windows of their storefronts, making them impossible to miss when walking inside. 

It is a commitment because not everyone will agree with you. On topics of racism, homophobia, transphobia and equality; we do not waiver where we stand,” said the owner of Sugar House Coffee, Cecillee Cummings.

Most fliers seen in SLC are created by artists and distributed through Local Propagandists, a small screen printing group. The volunteer-based group has produced thousands of posters and t-shirts that are often given out for free at protests. 

Although many designs have been released over the last few months, many of them have short messages, making them easy to read from far distances. They often say, “Black Lives Matter,” or “Say Her Name.” Many of the sayings are combined with the artwork. 

Recently, Local Propagandists began distributing posters to local businesses for them to not only hang in their stores but to also pass out to customers at no cost. Individual places advertised to their customers via Instagram stories to come to pick up the posters.

Some local participating businesses include Nostalgia Cafe, Boozetique, Thyme and Place, Sugarhouse Coffee, Mark of the Beastro and Passion Flour. Despite varying in discipline, the business owners agree showing support is crucial. 

“Local Propagandists’ artwork comes from a deeply honest and raw place. It is brave and beautiful, and like most great art it pushes far ahead of accepted norms in a way that is critical and important for our society to recover and establish a true sense of equity and equality,” said Melinda Meservy, owner of Thyme and Place.

The decision to show support for these movements does not come without risk.  As more businesses and cities begin displaying their support for BLM, the more at risk they are at for vandalism. There are many instances where this happened nationally, such as the Porky’s Barbeque in Yuba City, California when the restaurant was vandalized after displaying their support.

A Park City mural was also defaced last July after only four days of being finished. In response to the vandalism there, Park City Mayor Andy Beerman released the statement that said: “bias and racism exist in our community.”

Merservy said the decision to show support has had an effect on her business.

“Not just on my business but on my own sense of personal safety. I received a pretty graphic death threat in July–nothing since. I have also lost business and been criticized for using a business platform to support the movement. But I’m okay with that,” Merservy said

Places like Sugarhouse Coffee have not gained any income from selling BLM supporting products either, it is all donated to non-profit organizations.

What people don’t realize is the businesses you choose to support signifies what their dollar is funding,” Cummings said.

 

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@porshainielsen