LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The front lawn of a home in St. Matthews is filled with fake foam gravestones this Halloween season. Among the fallen leaves, they may look like typical decorations, but what’s written on the stones is sending a strong message.
Maggie McCrery, who built the display, explained to WAVE 3 News that the 25 gravestones feature the names of Black men and women killed by police; she calls it a Black Lives Matter cemetery.
“There’s a lot of people that act like this isn’t an issue but it really is,” she said. “I think that it’s important that White allies join forces with African American people and help to fight this fight for equality.”
McCrery said she often decorates for Halloween but this year she wanted to use the holiday as a protest to stand in solidarity with Black lives. Among the stones, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee are honored in the front row. Their makeshift grave markers sit next to a lit, green sign that reads “no vacancy.”
“The significance of the “no vacancy” sign is basically saying that we’ve had enough, that we don’t have room for one more life to be taken, that this has to be the end,” she said. “That as a group and as a community we need to all pull together as one to make sure that this does in fact stop.”
McCrery said her multiracial family was the inspiration behind the bold show of support for Black lives. While she has received some negative reactions, including those who she said use profanity, neighbors like La’Keisha James are in support of McCrery’s decorations.
“A lot of people are dealing with the racial inequities and everyone is representing things differently so it was good to see something that was so meaningful,” she said.
For James, the display is a welcome sight. An image she shared of the gravestones was shared nearly 300 times on Facebook as of Tuesday night. She believes the display will help foster conversations on racial equality.
“I just appreciate her [McCrery], just being willing and open and honest and confront our brutal reality,” she said.
McCrery calls the gravestones a protest. She hopes others who see them are encouraged to show their support for Black lives.
“Show solidarity with African American people and let racist people know that we just will not be tolerating it anymore,” she said.
McCrery plans to keep the gravestones on her lawn for at least a week after October 31st.
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