ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Mayor Malik Evans joined local and community members, and the families of Constance Mitchell and Minister Franklin Florence Thursday for the reveal of a new mural at East High School.
The mural was created by artist Ephraim Gebre as a way to honor local and international civil rights icons.
The mural depicts local civil rights leaders Mitchell and Florence, as well as international civil rights leader Malcolm X, who later changed his name to el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.
Constance Mitchell was the first African-American woman elected to the Monroe County Legislature and Minister Franklin D. Florence was the founder and the first president of the civil rights group F.I.G.H.T.
Mitchell and Florence fought for educational opportunities, improved living and working conditions, and higher wages for people of color.
The dedication ceremony also commemorated the birthdays of Mitchell and Malcolm X.
Gebre, a Rochester native and a graduate of the Rochester City School District, took inspiration for the mural from a photograph taken of the civil rights leaders in Rochester in 1965.
According to organizers behind the project, over 250 people contributed funds to help create the mural Major donations include the City of Rochester, Rochester Area, Community Foundation, Spiritus Christi Church, the ROC Freedom Riders, Michelle Daniels, and the Daniels Family Foundation.
“Artists paint the stories of our lives and our city is grateful for the Constance Mitchell, Minister Franklin D. Florence, and Malcolm X Mural Committee for their dedication to this project,” said Mayor Evans. “Artist Ephraim Gebre captured the essence of the iconic civil rights leaders that students of East High and citizens near and far.”