Photo by: Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo
It’s a new school year and the formerly named Davis International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi now bears the name of the first African American President of the United States, plus has a mural to honor its new namesake.
With a grant from the Greater Jackson Arts Council, husband and wife duo Charles and Talamieka Brice dedicated several weeks to painting a large image of Obama on the south wall of the school. The mural was unveiled during a special ceremony held on August 17. Right above the painting is a quote from the 44th U.S. president: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Photo via: JSU
“All of us, in a sense, are broken and flawed, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t enact change for the better,” Talamieka said of the reason why she chose the quote. “With the children that are coming up behind us, I wanted to instill in them essentially what Barack would say because it’s his own words.”
In October of 2017, teachers, parents, staff, and students at the school, which is 98 percent Black, voted to have Obama’s name replace confederate president Jefferson Davis’ name. The idea to change the name was proposed by a student, and in that same month it was confirmed that the school will be renamed after Obama.
“I am extremely proud of my students for their initiative in changing the name,” said Principal Dr. Kathleen Grigsby. “I believe Barack H. Obama’s portrait is a representation of all of the collective efforts of the school community.”
And what a powerful representation it is!