Black Lives Matter billboard erected next to giant Confederate flag in NC

Black Lives Matter billboard erected next to giant Confederate flag in NC
© Kerwin Pittman

A Black Lives Matter billboard was erected next to a Confederate flag in the town of Pittsboro, North Carolina, according to the organizer of a fundraiser for the billboard. 

The billboard was put up on US 64 East Business Route and is visible as drivers head into the town, organizers of the fundraiser said in an update on the event's description. 

“That Moment When You View The BLM Billboard You Help Put Up Literally Next To Racist (Confederates) Hangout & Flag In Pittsboro,NC...Priceless,” Kerwin Pittman, executive director of Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services, an organization that sponsored the billboard, said in a Facebook post Monday, along with photos of him standing in front of the newly erected billboard. 

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The fundraiser, launched last month, raised more than $10,000. 

In addition to covering the cost of the billboard to stand for one year, Pittman said $2,000 from the fundraiser will be donated to two organizations. Pittman said $1,000 will be donated to Chatham Organization for Racial Equity (CORE) and $1,000 will be donated to Emancipate NC. 

The billboard reads “Black Lives Matter” in large, bolded text, followed by a smaller line of text noting that it was paid for by paid for by Recidivism Reduction Educational Program Services & Emancipate NC.” 

In the description of the fundraiser, organizers said the Confederate flag does not represent Pittsboro as a community. 

“It is important for us now more than ever as a community to show our support for #BLACKLIVESMATTER, with that message on a billboard that is counter to the confederate flags next to it,” organizers wrote. 

Officials removed a Confederate statue that stood in front of the Chatham County Courthouse, located in Pittsboro, in November after months of protests, News and Observer reported

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Last month a clash broke out between protesters with Confederate statues demonstrating at the site of the former Confederate statue and counter protesters, WRAL reported.

Demonstrations over Confederate flags and statues commemorating Confederate figures have emerged across the country, with activists renewing calls for such monuments to be taken down amid nationwide protests over racial inequality and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

This post has been updated at 10:17 p.m. to clarify Pittman's role.