African Artist Restores Amadou Diallo Mural

The restored mural honors African immigrant Amadou Diallo, who was fatally shot by police on Feb. 4, 1999. (Photo by Aracelis Batista via Bronx Times)

An 18-foot mural of Amadou Diallo has been restored in time for the 18th anniversary of his death at the hands of police officers on Feb. 4. The piece, located on the side wall of 1157 Wheeler Ave. where he lived, and died, pays tribute to the 23-year-old Guinean immigrant and was painted by up-and-coming artist Hawa Diallo.

Steven Goodstein writes for Bronx Times:

The mural portrays a smiling Diallo in front of the American and Guinean flags and next to African cuisine. A message from Amadou on the mural reads, “Mom, I’m going to college.”

“I’m very honored to have had the responsibility of restoring this mural and bringing attention to an important moment in New York’s history,” Hawa said. “This mural is a reminder of the work our city and our nation needs to do so lives like Amadou’s are not lost in the future.”

Hawa, a Fulani from West Africa, came to the United States as a refugee after surviving a genocide. Painting since her mid-40s, Hawa uses near-photographic visual memory to produce paintings which remind her of her childhood, as well as beautiful and painful experiences from when she lived in Africa.

Goldstein notes that while the two are not related, they are both Fulani, a Muslim ethnic group in West Africa.

What did the mural originally depict? Go to Bronx Times for background information as well as details on the benefit dinner held on the anniversary of the death of Amadou Diallo.

One Comment

  1. I’ve always said Amadou’s story is every young immigrant in this country story because just like Amadou, all of our parents brought us here in the US to get a better education. Thank you Hawa for bringing this parent into life again.

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