Kinston building murals paint a picture of African American history

Published: Feb. 3, 2021 at 8:32 PM EST
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) -The sides of several buildings in downtown Kinston have come alive with colorful art that tells a story about the city’s past.

What was once a bare wall in Kinston is now a reflection of what happened here seventy years ago.

Some people living in Kinston may know of when Adkin High schoolers staged a walkout after being denied better education resources at the only black high school in Lenoir County in 1951.

The eight paintings are a way to revisit the past and show how it is still relevant.

The artists say they hope people get the chance to look at it and feel the history and say that the fight still goes on today.

Artist Jamil Burton says, “That era, although it’s many years gone, it’s kind of still here in a sense. And I just wanted people to really think about that and I want it to spark an emotion.”

Many of the other murals also encapsulate black history, including a painting to remember Kinston’s many athletic heroes.

The artists say they were able to create the murals with help from the city of Kinston and the Adkin High School alumni board.

This story is part of WITN’s celebration of Black History Month.

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