MLK39 Mural Unveiled on Juneteenth in West Hartford Center

Posted: 20th June 2021

A series of speakers, including Mayor Shari Cantor, State Rep. Tammy Exum, and Dr. Roszena Haskins introduced West Hartford’s new mural to a crowd of about 100 people gathered in the courtyard below the library stairway.

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Six civil rights leaders appear in the mural, along with quotes from Vice President Kamala Harris, and National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. The mural also features a silhouette of a Black woman’s head, whose hair contains the names of those killed unjustly by police brutality, and of those formerly enslaved in West Hartford. Under the silhouette, seven mason jars spell out “freedom.” Lastly, towards the Blue Back Square side, two hands release a white dove, while breaking the chains that bind the hands together.

After months of planning and community input, nationally-recognized artist Corey Pane’s striking mural design now spans the entire side wall of the Noah Webster Library in Blue Back Square, and even wraps around the corner to the front of the building, making a strong statement about the town’s commitment to civil rights.

This silhouette’s hair has names of those killed injustly by police brutality, as well as names of enslaved people held in West Hartford. Photo Credit: Sophie Christensen

This mural, a part of the MLK39 initiative, continues an effort to recognize and honor the 39 years of MLK’s life. West Hartford’s installation of this project was completed through partnerships with CT Murals, the Town of West Hartford, the CT Center for Nonviolence, Concerned Parents of Color, Unity Green Committee, and West Hartford African American Social and Cultural Organization (WHAASCO), as well as other members of the community and organizations, including the town’s youth.

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