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February 20, 2020

Cecil B. Moore mural restored after being vandalized with spray-painted racial slur

The mural honoring the civil rights activist was found to have been vandalized this past Saturday

The mural honoring Philadelphia civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore that was found to have been vandalized with a spray-painted racial slur on Saturday morning has been repaired and restored just days later.

Mural Arts Philadelphia fixed the mural, which is located on the 1400 block of North Bouvier St. and West Jefferson St. in North Philadelphia, within 24 hours of the incident being discovered and reported.

“We are talking about children walking through the neighborhood and you don’t want them to have to see this,” Mural Arts Philadelphia project manager Corin Wilson said to the Philadelphia Tribune. “He meant so much to the neighborhood and we just wanted to restore it in the best way possible.”

The mural, which is painted on a building where Moore once lived, was discovered by neighbors to have the F-word and N-word spray-painted on it early Saturday.

Moore, who was born in 1915, served in World War II as a Marine before moving to Philadelphia and attending Temple University. While a resident of the City of Brotherly Love, Moore was a civil rights defense attorney, the president of the local NAACP chapter, and a City Councilmember. 

Moore, who reportedly marched with Martin Luther King Jr., was famous for helping fight to integrate Girard College.

Philadelphia police are currently investigating the situation, but no arrests have been made yet. Another mural honoring Moore is currently in the works and will begin this fall in North Philadelphia.

According to a report released by the Anti-Defamation League last week, Pennsylvania had 74 documented incidents of white supremacist propaganda in 2019. Roughly a third of those incidents happened in Philadelphia. In 2018, 40 incidents occurred in Pennsylvania, including nine in Philadelphia.

The distribution of white supremacist propaganda more than doubled across the country last year, according to the ADL. The circulation of such fliers, posters and banners increased by 120% from 2018.

The ADL's report was supplemented by its ADL H.E.A.T (Hate, Extremism, Anti-Semitism, Terrorism) Map. The interactive tool catalogs a range of hate-inspired incidents, from anti-Semitic incidents to terroristic plots, since 2002. The map shows 454 hate-inspired incidents in Pennsylvania between 2002 and 2019.

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