Vandals have targeted a black-owned art gallery in Soho for the third time this week — and its owner is now vowing to leave the smears of paint on display to send the message that “hate still exists in 2021.”
The Black Wall Street Gallery — which is featuring an exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre — was first vandalized sometime Sunday night into Monday, with white paint smeared on the window over the gallery’s name.
It was tagged again overnight Monday with various initials on the window, and then again Wednesday night — the latest act involving a message saying, “ETC REAL ART” scrawled in black marker.
The gallery is commemorating the 1921 race massacre in Tulsa’s Greenwood District, a thriving black neighborhood known as Black Wall Street.
“We’re in the middle of a very important exhibition and we’d like to focus on saluting the ancestors who lost their lives in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre,” owner Ricco Wright wrote on Instagram Wednesday, showing some of the vandalism. “However, having to constantly deal with this level of ignorance is unbecoming.”
He added, “We’ve decided to leave the first two acts of vandalism on the glass to remind the world that hate still exists in 2021, even in New York City. But our plan is to keep on pushing like Curtis Mayfield. New vinyl will be installed above the vandalism very soon to show that we go high when others go low, as @michelleobama once advised.”
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating but has not determined if the same culprits were responsible for all three acts of vandalism.
It’s also prompted city officials to step forward — with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer leading a press conference there Thursday afternoon.
“It’s also apparent to us that some person(s) can’t fathom a black-owned gallery curating an important exhibition like this, but we have and we’ll continue to encourage people to see it before Juneteenth,” Ricco said in his post.
The spree of vandalism comes amid an exclusive report by The Post about a recent surge of graffiti in Soho.