The City of Charlotte recently completed a pedestrian plaza and multi-use trail at the W. Trade/I-77 Underpass in the Historic West End. The city invited local artists to submit a concept to complete a mural on the retaining wall on either side of the underpass.
Artists who have an appreciation and in-depth knowledge of the history and culture of the project area were requested.
One of the artists is Jamil Dyair Steele, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher.
“My mural proposal is a two-sided composition that chronicles the history, culture and academic legacy of the Biddleville community,” Steele said. “The mural depicts two young African American scholars facing one another. They reflect proudly on different aspects of the wonderful heritage of the Historic West End.”
Steele said he chose Black youth as the main figures to emphasize the importance of knowing one’s own culture, heritage and lineage.
“As a African American teacher, I want Black youth to see themselves reflected in a mural about the historic Biddleville community,” he said. “I also want them so see that education has been and will always be (a) staple in communities of color.”
There are six concepts that were chosen as finalists by a selection committee composed of City of Charlotte staff and neighborhood leaders, and only West Side Charlotteans are being asked to participate in the survey.
Each of the renderings is a testament to the amazing talent of the artists.
One submission speaks to the significance of history and generational growth, with three characters representing the wisdom and guidance of the generations past; the prosperity, growth and willingness to serve the present generation; and the future generation’s spirit of youth’s willingness and thirst to learn and receive.
West Side residents are asked to review the concepts and rank them in order based on preference. One will be chosen based on the results of this survey.
If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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