Capital City Times Mural by Alcorn Middle Schools Students
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Formally called “Capital City Times” but more commonly known as “The Black Mural,” it is painted on both supports of the North Main Street railroad trestle at the entrance to Earlewood Park. Ralph had help with the mural from artist Vanessa Ashford-Bussy, and the foundation of African-American artist Romare Bearden provided support.

Judi Battiste coordinated the mural with 24 Alcorn Middle School students. Originally, it was supposed to be painted only on one wall, but by the time it was completed in 1995 it was so large it had spread to both walls of the trestle.

“One side shows the kids’ feelings about growing up in Columbia. The other side is a tribute to African-American role models,” says Judi, who at the time was chair of the arts committee for the local chapter of The Links, Inc., a national women’s service organization.

Among the role models featured in the mural are the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., South Carolina native astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who died when the Space Shuttle “Challenger” exploded in 1986, and Columbia native Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, former astronaut and current administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Capital City Times Mural by Alcorn Middle Schools Students

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