From the New York Times

Wearing a lilac suit and rhinestone earrings fit for an Easter service, Savannah Simmons made a grand entrance on Sunday at AutoZone Park, a minor-league baseball stadium in the center of downtown. News photographers clustered around her as she smiled broadly enough to broadcast a single gold tooth amid her pearly whites. On the wall behind her, a portrait of Ms. Simmons, an 80-year-old black former factory worker, in a giant mural showed that same gold tooth in a slightly more restrained version of that same smile.

Savannah Simmons’s gold tooth, which was depicted in the mural, became a discussion point.

Ms. Simmons may have been the picture of elegance, but when her face began to take shape on the wall about a month ago, some people viewed it in a very different light — particularly because it was in clear view of almost every seat at the popular stadium.

Gregory Grant, the president of the local chapter of the National Action Network, an advocacy group headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, saw in it an offensive stereotype in a city that already had its share of racial problems.

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