Published February 22, 2014 in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star
North unveils heritage mural
Dianne Frances D. Powell
TERRE HAUTE — The faces of notable black Americans from this area stood out from colorfully painted wood as their eyes seemed to gaze at the viewers of their portraits.
The story of black Americans from Terre Haute was told using paint and plywood on a mural ceremoniously unveiled Friday night in front of about 100 people at Terre Haute North Vigo High School.
The mural, 4 feet high at the school’s northeast corner, joined five other murals around the same area that celebrate culture and history. The idea was conceived and made possible by countless hours of after-school sweat of Terre Haute North Vigo High School students and members of the school’s African-American Club.
The finished mural, “African-American Trailblazers of Terre Haute,” is a tribute to the great people that came before and a constant reminder of local black history.
“The whole importance of the mural is to bring us back to our roots,” said Dario D. Stephens, president of the club.
The people depicted on the mural “marched,” Stephens said, meaning “they paved the way for us to make a better future.” He said, “It tells me that I can be someone.”
So the challenge to the young people, he said, is to “do what’s right to make a better future,” just like these people did.
More than 40 portraits depicted in the mural are those of black artists, athletes, coaches, politicians, musicians and others who made significant contributions to their society during their time.
On one corner of the mural, which spanned six feet across, were The Original Jingling Jazz Five Piece Orchestra, one of the first black orchestras in Terre Haute. Also featured was Don Turner, art teacher; Willa Brown Chappell, a female aviator; Benjamin “Scatman” Crothers, a renowned entertainer; among others. Full Story