FOLLY BEACH, S.C. — Over the past weekend, the Folly Beach Boat has changed paint jobs to reflect tributes to those affected by violence recently.
Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement painted over two separate displays to also include their message of unity.
They say they didn’t paint over the displaces as retaliation, but wanted people to also see they support all people who are affected by violence.
“Our message out here for the boat was just to show that everyone is equal. We weren’t trying to say that we didn’t respect the police, [or] police lives didn’t matter. We love our boys in blue, we just also want black lives to matter, as well,” said Tiara Harris, with the Black Lives Matter group.
Christina McCleney says as a James Island native, the Folly Beach Boat means a lot to her. She says she sees it as a place for freedom of speech.
“We always used to stop at the boat and look at the signs,” McCleney said.
“Being able to paint what we feel and express our feelings through paint and words and pictures…We just want to be able to be heard,” she said.
The Black Lives Matter group that painted the boat also said they received criticism and threats on social media over their display.
“When we say ‘black lives matter’, we’re not saying just black lives matter, we’re saying they matter just as much as any life,” McCleney said.