Lead: At the root of the explosion of graffiti on American public spaces was the revolutionary artistic movement known as Mexican Muralism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Murals have been around since prehistoric times, but the modern genesis of the term in part originated with the Mexican "muralista" art movement. In the years following the Mexican revolution, during the 1920s and 1930s, native art, often with a powerful political message, began to decorate blank walls all over Mexico. Varying in quality, murals helped turn the cities into works of art. Muralists used open public spaces to call attention to a troubled society’s dreams, needs and hopes, revealing the need for social transformation. These murals could not be quickly eradicated, though the authorities tried. They were in-your-face, provocative, and demonstrated insistent demands by the artists for social justice.