The project begins in Africa, where a King is depicted surrounded by his royal court. As you go through the journey in the mural, you experience the kingdoms in Africa, village life, and the capture of Africans as slaves and the journey of the middle passage to the Americas.
The next panel unveils the life of slavery. There are images of families being separated, mothers being separated from their children as the master sells their children and a black woman with young white child on her lap as she raises the masters’ children as the house Negro.
There are areas on the mural where you will see the writings of students, which was the collaborative effort between Parker and members of the Language Arts department. The students were engaged to write to their ancestors (as slavery descendants) and their work has been highlighted on the mural.
The mural is purposely devoid of black icons so that the focus is on the everyday life. There are areas on the mural that protrude out like boxes which have been affixed with brail writing for those who do not have eyes to see can actually experience the mural through touch. The mural in its entirety measures 110 feet and highlights events from the Emancipation of slaves to the present day.
© 2008 Jameel Parker