Mural on WSSU campus aims to inspire Black Lives Matter movement

Phillip Osborne coordinated with the SGA at WSSU to paint the Black Lives Matter mural on campus.

Mural on WSSU campus aims to inspire Black Lives Matter movement
February 24
14:18 2021

Phillip Osborne does not want to see the momentum built last year by the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) to stop. Last weekend he coordinated with students from his alma mater, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), to paint another mural on the campus.  

Osborne was a part of the BLM mural that was painted in downtown Winston-Salem last summer. He painted the hashtag portion of the mural and that inspired him to continue spreading the message to as many people as he could. He has painted several BLM murals around the state and was elated to have WSSU join in, especially after he painted the WE VOTE mural previously on campus.  

“Once I did that, I said, ‘hey, you know what, why not promote this as a therapeutic community-related activity and I can bring this to the campus,” said Osborne. “With the connections I had at the collegiate level, I wanted to bring those murals to colleges and have something where the students can do it outside and social distance and fellowship with one another.

“I wanted to get it out there, although I wasn’t able to get it out to as many colleges as I wanted to. Winston-Salem State took advantage of it, Livingstone College took advantage of it and I have been talking to some more colleges about it as well. It’s just something community based, so students can still have fun and have an activity to do together while they are in school.”

Osborne collaborated with the student government association of WSSU to plan the event. To adhere to social distancing rules, instead of having all the students come out together, they chose to bring small groups of students in different shifts to work on the mural. Each group painted the letters as Osborne worked on a ram specifically designed for the school. 

Osborne said he didn’t want the BLM movement to only be a fad in the area, only coming out when something unfortunate happens to someone of color. His idea for the mural was to have a daily reminder to the students to continue pushing for equality and justice.

“I just really wanted to continue to strengthen the importance of Black Lives Matter,” he said. “It seems like it’s a phase and it seems like it comes and it goes anytime an unfortunate incident may happen to an African American. It’s so people don’t lose focus on BLM.  

“I didn’t go out and protest, I used my artwork as a form of protesting in getting my message out there. It’s a creative peaceful protest and I can involve students and staff and everyone gets to be a part of my vision. My vision is to continue to put the message out there and still at the same time have some fun while doing it.”

Osborne was pleased with the turnout from the students and staff of WSSU. He said the students were happy to participate in the event, especially during Black History Month. Now that he is able to step back and appreciate his work, Osborne was happy with the results.

“I feel awesome and it came out really good,” he said about the mural. “The students really helped out, especially with the clean-up. I was really dope and I actually love the outcome.”

Art has long been a passion for Osborne, although he has only been painting for four years. He said he used art as a therapeutic activity as a child and the passion grew from there.  

He describes his art style as neo soul and expressive art. Osborne said he is inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Osborne can be reached by email at or on his Instagram page at phil77777.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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