Jaded Brooklyn offers glimmer of hope

Depending on where you walk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you’ll find yourself in very different cities.

Some areas are much like little towns, with small businesses and residential areas crowded together, some version of cacophonous community coming through. Some areas are glittering, glass monoliths, beacons of coolness – or perhaps coldness – that draw tourists from around the world. There are lots of in-betweens, sometimes cohesive, often dissonant.

Roebling Street, when taken southbound, leads right into the entrance of the Williamsburg Bridge, connecting one back into Manhattan. A couple of blocks shy of that entrance (or escape, whatever your perspective), is a school that is now graced with a stunning mural. It’s a vibrant love song to the history of the neighborhood – one of abolitionists, immigrants, and the people of today. It’s quite stunning, almost lyrical in its imagery.

I don’t have a camera, just my phone. I will have to find a good picture of the whole wall sometime. However, there’s a section that jumped out at me, beckoning me to some semblance of hope in this dissonance (literal, metaphysical, local, national, global).

I’m going to try to hold on to it for as long as I can.


MS50-El Puente Community School on Roebling St. and South 3rd St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Learn about the muralists here.

This reads:

The arc of the moral universe is long, and it bends towards justice.

More than just words, I hope.

Perhaps an omen.

A prediction.

A promise.

The truth.

Here’s a (just about) full photo of the mural, from El Puente’s Facebook page. 


Photo by Osvaldo Budet for El Puente

And a close-up of another section, courtesy of a friend…