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New Eastside Mural Will Teach Story Of Civil Rights Movement

High school students will now have a new way to learn about the Civil Rights Movement with the help of a Jacksonville Eastside mural that is being created.

The University of North Florida’s Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP) partnered with high school students under the guidance of local artists on producing the large mural. The student-painted mural will be on the side of the Eastside Brotherhood building.

The mural is expected to take two to three weeks after the building is prepared for the painting.  

The project aims to give students a deeper way to learn about history while experiencing what other community organizations such as the Ritz Theatre and Museum has to offer.

Dr. Rudy Jamison, UNF’s CUEP community initiatives coordinator, said that the mural can be the start of a new conversation about an attack on African-American protesters in Jacksonville that came to be known as Ax Handle Saturday.

“So not only does it amplify the story of Ax Handle Saturday, I think it is going to bring a lot of attention to the community out east,” Jamison said. “I think it is going to serve as a central location for community members to convene. I think they will be able to learn about the story even more.”

Over 25 students from all over Jacksonville are in the project and have been able to interact with civil rights activists and other community organizations  during part one of the curriculum, according to Jamison.

“So the students have had a different experience as it relates to consuming a history, particularly a local history,” Jamison said.  

This will not be the only mural in the area. Murals are already being created on the side of Eastside’s buildings, and feature local people, ranging from civil rights to business owners.

Suzanne Pickett, Executive Director of the Cultural Center of Greater Jacksonville, said she envisions the UNF mural being a part of a historical tour in the future.

The public discussion on the “Hope and History: Learning from Our Past to Lead into Our Future” project is on April 6 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Eastside Brotherhood, located at 915 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.

“But at the end of the day this is a leadership development experience for public high school students here in Jacksonville, Florida. And we are happy to serve as a catalyst in that aspect for them,”  Jamison said.

Joslyn Simmons can be reached at, 904-358-6316

Joslyn Simmons was a WJCT News intern for spring 2018.