One talented artist is examining African-American culture and protesting Trump in Georgia. Jorael Elliot, a creative from New Mexico, has painted a mural featuring the faces of Colin Kaepernick, Rosa Parks and more in Mercer Village, a popular restaurant destination in a historical college area in Macon, Georgia.
Viewers can see Kaepernick kneeling in protest and Parks’ booking number from her famous arrest after refusing to give up her seat, according to The Telegraph. Sam Oni, the first African-American student to attend Mercer University in Macon, a largely Black city, is also featured in the mural merging civil rights history with contemporary narratives. The piece also shows Black Civil War soldiers and a Black Civil War general. The featured people and depicted themes were chosen in response to the belief that removing Confederate monuments erases history.
“I think it’s just time to kind of call (injustices) out and do a piece on knowing what you stand for,” Elliott said to The Telegraph. ‘We can honor the history by telling different layers of the story from the past as well as make it (relevant) to the present.”
Elliott’s artistic effort, however, is more than a work of art dedicated to Black history flashpoints. The mural is part of a “Mobilize Walls” project pushing back against Trump’s proposed wall for Mexico, Elliott said. His goal is to build several murals that when combined have a square footage that makes them larger than the dimensions of the president’s promised imposing border, which is viewed as an attempt to promote fear-mongering. “Square foot by square foot, these walls all over the world can out scale the proposed wall,” Elliott said.
“And he’s [Elliott] already surpassed that amount and other artists are involved to so it’s not just his mural, it’s a combination of lots of different murals,” Craig Coleman, professor of art at Mercer, which is located in the same area as the mural, said to 41NBC. Coleman introduced the idea of artists creating more work in the historical college corridor in Macon. This mural was made possible by the Knight Neighborhood Challenge Grant and part of the Art in the Park program. Mercer’s art Department received more than $60,000 for the grant.
The art represents the “struggles of the past and present in African American culture,” Coleman added. “I think his [Elliott’s] goal is that we should actually put up more art that showcases the history and you know gives more to the story, so I think this is part of his intention, at least that’s what he told me,” he explained.