Jefferson County approves new mural to replace ones depicting slavery, segregation

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - When people come into the lobby of the Jefferson County Courthouse, they are currently greeted with a huge mural which shows slaves working on a plantation and another showing the industrial age of Birmingham but with segregation.

A new mural has been commissioned to show the county's racial diversity. "It's going to send the message that Jefferson County has come a long way. The murals down there portray slavery and slaves," said Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown.

On Thursday, the commission voted 5-0 to hire artist Ronald McDowell who drew the concept of the new mural. The total contract is $185,000. McDowell created the statue of former Birmingham City Council Woman Nina Miglionico. Brown is pleased with McDowell's proposal. "The mural we are putting shows diversity. Up from slavery working together. All nationalities," Brown said.

The mural shows black and white angels representing blind justice. Black and white judges at the courthouse. Brown said the county found a solution without confrontation. "We can disagree without being disagreeable." Brown said.

Commissioner Brown said the mural should be finished about the first of April and be unveiled for the world to see about mid-April. She believes it will send a true message of what Jefferson County looks like today.

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