OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy was celebrated and enshrined in a new mural at an Oakland Unified School District elementary school named in honor of the civil rights leader.
"I think the strength of what he represents often gets underlooked. There is such a vast array of messages that Dr. King shared with us, and the vision that he had for us is beyond just having his dream. And so, here we are living that," said Trina Fields, OUSD's Expanded Learning Program manager.
Facing the community on Market Street, this mural was created by Refa1, the director of Aerosoul, a community institution rooted in Oakland.
"You know where I started art? In an OUSD school just like you," Refa1 said to students.
The artist himself came to serve as guest speaker at a schoolwide assembly ahead of the mural unveiling the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
He says the mural is titled "Three Kings" to showcase three different dimensions of Dr. King.
"It's also important that we see the image of strong Black fathers, who stand in the gap for their people, who organize for their people," Refa1 said. "Dr. King was an organizer. Dr. King stood in the gap in places and had a voice for people who are voiceless."
The mural was made possible by OUSD's Expanded Learning Program.
"Our vision is to bring youth in connection with the arts legacy of Oakland, and that includes bringing in partner agencies and artists like Refa1 to work at a high level quality experience of art, so that youth can see that art is not just an opportunity to express their whole selves, but also can be a career pathway," Fields said.
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