C.T. Vivian mural dedicated in downtown Macomb

Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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MACOMB (WGEM) - A mural dedication took place in Macomb on Saturday honoring the life of the Macomb High School and Western Illinois University graduate, Civil Rights Leader C.T. Vivian.

The Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau have partnered with The C.T. Vivian Project Foundation to bring the mural called “Life of a Servant Leader: Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian” to downtown Macomb.

On North Randolph Street, collaborators and friends gathered to officially dedicate the 70+ foot painting to the Vivian family and city.

Quincy B. Banks, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, said the mural was a detailed depiction of Vivian’s life from an artistic perspective.

“For me being an artist as well, looking from the beginning to the end, this tells a story,” said Banks. “This tells the struggle, this tells where he came from, this tells where he ended up.”

Vivian participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across the nation, often bringing his teachings back to Macomb, Illinois.

C.T. Vivian mural
C.T. Vivian mural(WGEM)

The mural’s artist, Michael Mahoney, wishes that all who see the mural reflect on the legacy left by the late civil right’s leader.

“The memory of the man as a public servant,” Mahoney said. “He really was, he served, he served faithfully, he served with integrity, he served with non-violence and he served with love.”

The mural is dedicated in C.T. Vivian’s honor, but officials from the C.T. Vivian Project Foundation of Macomb said that it depicted with the lives of different African-American leaders so that those that walk past it can reflect on history a bit.

Byron K. Oden-Shabazz is the C.T. Vivian Project Foundation of Macomb Founder and Director.

He said that the mural is not just art, but education to those who may have not received completely truthful teachings of history throughout their lives.

“What I want for children is to learn the history and to understand the greatness of C.T. Vivian and understand that they come from people that have been doing things for generations,” said Oden-Shabazz. “And what I want say for white children to see that black people have been doing things the whole time, it just was not accounted for.”

After the ceremony, guests were invited to a reception at the Macomb Arts Center where food was served and visitors got to hear a little more about C.T. Vivian’s impact on the Tri-State area.

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