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New ‘Say Their Names’ memorial in SB Funk Zone remembers Black lives

New Say Their Names Memorial
Ryan Fish/KEYT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A new 'Say Their Names' memorial was completed Wednesday in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone.

The memorial features more than 200 black-and-white pictures of Black men, women and children whose lives were cut short by racism, injustice or police brutality.

The new memorial adorns a chain link fence on Anacapa Street near Mason Street. The initial design went up a few blocks away last month, then came down three weeks later as plans for this new memorial began.

The colorful new design features flowing ribbons and a vibrant sign reading 'SAY THEIR NAMES.'

Organizers from around the county helped make the memorial, including members of the black community and Healing Justice SB. People from the local wedding industry donated ribbons and flowers for the memorial.

Co-organizer Leticia Resch says local property owners are allowing the memorial to stay up for three weeks before it needs to be moved again. She says plans for a new interpretation of the memorial are currently being discussed.

Several people stopped by the new memorial after it was completed Wednesday to pause and reflect.

“I love how the first one felt more somber, and this one feels more of a celebration of these lives,” Katya Armistead, a member of the Black community who heard about the memorial through Healing Justice. “I like the progression. I like that that was very real and this is still very real, but I feel like I want to celebrate [their lives].”

“I would love for everybody to read every single name,” she continued. “But if people could read at least five to 10, and let it sink in. Let them understand the violence and the cruelty… It’s time that we pay attention.”

Local artist Sara Wilcox is working on her own project to honor the Black names that are remembered in this memorial. She felt moved seeing it for the first time.

“What a blessing to come and honor all these people that have left the world too soon,” she said. “It’s hard to describe, it’s just emotional. These people deserve justice, respect.”

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Ryan Fish

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