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Barack Obama And Bill Cosby Disappear From Washington’s Emblematic Facade!!!

Shadarryl Brown had to rub his eyes to believe it. Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington’s emblematic fast food, known for both hot dogs and wall paintings, has swallowed up its facade, erasing the faces of Bill Cosby and Barack Obama.

The white wall of the restaurant, located on the trendy U Street of which it is one of the symbols of the renewal, does not leave indifferent passers-by, accustomed to this multicolored fresco.

The smiling faces of former President Obama, the former television glory Bill Cosby, but also Chuck Brown and DJ Donnie Simpson have left space since Thursday to a large white void, on which are tagged the words ” New year, new fresco “or a link to the website of the restaurant.

For it should not be seen as a political message, according to Ben’s Chili Bowl who organized on its website a popular vote to determine the new faces.

It is “absolutely not” to disassociate the image of the restaurant from that of Bill Cosby, stuck in several cases of sexual assault and whose criminal trial must open in June, assures AFP Virginia Ali, Owner of the sign.

As for Barack Obama, his departure from the White House on 20 January is only a coincidence.

– Barack and Michelle Obama –

“We removed the fresco because she was five years old, she needed to be redone, and we decided that for the new year we needed a new fresco, just to give it a new look” , Explains Mrs. Ali, white curly hair, sitting in the restaurant where their famous “half-smoke” sausages.


“I did not know that my little wall was so important,” she smiled, recounting that the decision to breathe new life into the facade of an alleyway had been taken in the spring.

The idea, she assured us, was to leave it up to the regulars to choose the people who should be represented, before repainting a new fresco by April.

Standing in front of the white wall, Shadarryl Brown, a 43-year-old African American, flanked by a black cap, ruminates.

“I am shocked that they have taken everything away,” he protested, grateful that “it is good for people to choose who they want to see”.

His preference would go to the pop king Michael Jackson, “when he was black,” he said, as well as to Martin Luther King, whose assassination in 1968 had resulted in bloody riots at U Street.

His two choices are on the list of some sixty personalities, mostly black, among whom Internet users can choose up to six names since Thursday.

For the undecided, the restaurant offers even combinations, the first of which brings together Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Desmond Tutu.

Duke Ellington is also part of the selection. He contributed with his contemporaries Miles Davis and Nat King Cole in particular, to make famous this restaurant that they frequented when they performed in the clubs of the district.

The vote, explained to the AFP Kamal Ali, son of the owner, is open until the end of February but, from the first day, “thousands” of Internet users had given their preference.

“Michelle and Barack Obama are leading the race,” he said. “Overwhelmingly”.


Written by How Africa

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