‘Black Lives Matter’ Billboards Put Back Up After Being Pulled
Advocate Terra Cooper rallied her community to gather enough donations to put Black Lives Matter signage on 28 billboards around the state.
“Based on the donations we received, it was clearly something that was very important to people. They wanted to see those words ‘Black Lives Matter,’” Terra Cooper said.
Cooper said it was difficult to get a local advertising company to host the message.
“I received a lot of nos,” Cooper said.
Saunders Outdoor Advertising was the only company that approved the design, which remembers Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.
“The signs were approved and then were taken down,” Cooper said. “That was a really hurtful thing.“
By noon Friday, all seven billboards that were up and running had been pulled.
“Officials at Saunders Outdoor Advertising said they were getting some complaints this morning, so they took it down,” Cooper said.
“We had some concerns, so we pulled it,” he said.
Cooper talked about the further damage the move caused.
“There was a little girl, 11 years old, earlier today. She was standing outside with her grandma waiting to see the sign in Layton,” Cooper said. “I had to go and tell them the sign wasn’t coming on because it had been taken down. She was devastated. It’s important for her and other people of color to see those words.”
Tiffany Alexander came out with her children to see the sign.
“When people take back on their word it makes me feel like we’re defeated; that we’re never going to win this race and never see change. I’m tired of feeling like that,” Alexander said. “Black Lives Matter isn’t a negative movement — lots of people mistake us for being violent. We’re not. We want justice when justice should be served.”
Saunders told KSL TV he received dozens of phone calls from media from all over the country.
“He came up with a compromise Friday evening. The signs will stay up until Monday,” Cooper said.
Each paid-for message blips for eight seconds every seven to 10 minutes. The signs were running again on seven different billboards, ranging from St. George to Ogden.
“I can’t quit being black. I can’t quit being me. Lift up off of us. Let us breathe. Treat us like human beings. Give us the equality that we’re looking for,” Alexander said.
Since this story ran, Yes Co. Advertising Company officials said they had approved the Black Lives Matter design for rotation on seven of their billboards.