Black Art Speaks publishes book

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.

Alandes Powell

BAS, a nonprofit 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 provides thought-provoking and stimulating imagery compiled by the book’s graphic designer Stephen Smith.

In less than 20 hours over the course of three days, seventeen 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.”

An official book launch and signing event will be hosted by premium sponsors, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and ArtsWave, at GCF’s Haile Community Hub located at 720 E. Pete Rose Way on May 12. The public event begins at 4:30 p.m. and includes a panel discussion with the authors and artists at 5:30 p.m.

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

The event will also offer the opportunity to purchase artwork from the mural’s artists.

For additional information about where to obtain a copy of this book, visit

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