New Charlotte Center City mural showcases contributions of late civil rights leader

It also is a reflection of our history.
Hidden beneath Charlotte’s skyline is a new addition of a community art creation that does more than imitate life.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 7:32 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Hidden beneath Charlotte’s skyline is a new addition of a community art creation that does more than imitate life.

It also is a reflection of our history.

J Tanya Adams of West End Partners was one of the driving forces behind an effort designed to honor a Carolina civil rights icon.

“We knew that Mr.J. Charles Jones had not had a piece done in his honor. There was nothing here on the corridor to commemorate him, and he does more than deserves it,” she said.

You can not measure the impact of local civil rights without considering the reach of Charles Jones.

On February 9th, 1960, Jones and fellow Johnson C. Smith University student B.B. Delaine organized African American student activism across the Queen City by taking seats at whites-only lunch counters.

In 2010 Jones recalled,

“That morning there were 212 students from Johnson C. Smith that said let’s rock and roll. With appropriate respect to Charlotte what turned this around was the pocketbook.”

The vibrant artwork stands nine feet tall and measures 40 feet wide and can be found at the intersection of Fifth and Bruns.

Described as a layered tapestry of Jones’ life and commitment to social justice in the Carolinas and beyond is the creation of artist Abel Jackson.

He said,“It was a lot to get into the spirit of Attorney Jones and to tap into his energy and the hard work and sacrifice he put into everything.

Paid for by a grant from the City of Charlotte awarded to Historic West End Partners, the images are not only designed to educate but also inspire.

“He was a phenomenal man and brave man, “Adams said.

Bravery loudly amplified and clearly underscored his 82 years of living and is colorfully articulated through a mural of community memories.