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With a nod to Black Lives Matter, UK's Johnson gives Biden mural photo

With a nod to Black Lives Matter, UK's Johnson gives Biden mural photo

6/10/2021 11:10:00 PM

With a nod to Black Lives Matter, UK's Johnson gives Biden mural photo

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave U.S. President Joe Biden a framed photograph of a British mural depicting Black 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the British leader's office said on Thursday.

Johnson's gift, presented during a G7 summit which marks Biden's first official overseas engagement and a chance to reaffirm trans-Atlantic ties, is a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement that has pushed race relations to the fore in both countries.

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Douglass escaped slavery in the United States, going on to become an abolitionist leader who toured Britain and Ireland, with which Biden has ancestral ties.Biden cited Douglass in a 2020 speech on race at a time when the country was confronting questions on contemporary and historical racial injustice sparked by a protest movement that also spread to Britain and prompted a similar outpouring.

The mural is painted on the wall of a residential street corner in Edinburgh, a city where Douglass stayed on his tour, by artist Ross Blair who used the hashtag #blacklivesmatter when first unveiling the piece online in 2020.The black and white mural portrait of Douglass was photographed by dual British-U.S. national Melissa Highton. headtopics.com

U.S. first lady Jill Biden was given a first edition copy of 'The Apple Tree' - a collection of short stories by 20th century British author Daphne du Maurier, who lived in Cornwall, the picturesque corner of England that is hosting the G7 summit.

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As Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is both a cherished and consistent part of public life -- her image synonymous with stability and tradition to the British people.

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