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New mural in downtown West Palm Beach showcases civil rights icons

Posted at 7:04 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 19:04:08-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On the 500 block of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, Caron Bowman wants to tell you a story.

“People see this as Black history, but it’s also American history,” Bowman said.

The Respectable Street wall is her team’s canvas.

“The mural is called the icons of the civil rights movement. It’s probably one of the first murals to be done here in the downtown area that profiles civil rights in particular,” she said.

Bowman is the founder of Street Art Revolution. She says she is one of the only Black public art curators in the state. The mural is being completed by four local artists of color, Eddie Mendieta, Nate Dee, Dahlia Perryman, and Tracy Guiteau.

“Not a lot of artists of color get the opportunity to do public artwork,” Bowman said.

Using spray paint and brush work the faces of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, John Lewis, Augustus Savage, Kathleen Neal Cleaver and Ella Baker will be displayed on the 500 block of Clematis Street.

The project is slated to be completed by March 1st, signifying that Black history goes beyond one month.

“It’s not just a month, it’s something that we need to experience and talk about every single day of our lives,” Teneka Feaman said.

Feaman is the Associate Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. She says they partnered with the Subculture Group, each paying $3,000 to fund the mural.

“I think awareness is very important, I think creating that conversation is very important,” she said.

For Bowman it’s also about telling an untold story.

“We focused in on this mural on women in the civil rights movement because a lot of women haven’t been profiled and given their due praise,” she said.