Words By Roads is a series of 4 murals painted on underpasses on 580 at MacArthur Blvd, High Street, Fruitvale and Park Blvd.
The murals were commissioned by the City of Oakland for $5000 and painted in 1991 by Seyed Alavi. Alavi worked with local youth from Skyline High School, Fremont High School and Oakland High in a series of workshops about the power of language, the social and cultural nature of public art, and public art vs art in museums. The workshops were designed to come up with murals that were going to be a temporary project to be painted in highly visible spots, but they're still there. The students came up with the theme for the murals: they decided that racism was the most important issue needing comment.
The decided on these four phrases: