WICKER PARK — A large new mural off the Blue Line in Wicker Park honors Black history.
The black-and-white mural is more than 30 feet tall and stands at the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Wood and Wolcott streets. It recreates a famed photo of a Black man holding a sign that says, “I AM A MAN.”
The project was led by Darius Dennis with artists Ephraim Gebre, Robin Alcantara and Jared Diaz, according to a press release. They’ve now been asked to create three similar murals as part of a series throughout Chicago. They’re collecting donations for the project online.
The photo from the mural in Wicker Park was taken by Bob Adelman during the funeral for Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 in Memphis. King had been in Memphis to help with the Memphis sanitation workers strike.
King was assassinated the day after he visited the strike in solidarity and delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.
During the strike, workers had been carrying the “I AM A MAN” sign. It’s become a popular sign at protests for civil rights.
Colleen and Connor Kendall volunteered the space for the mural.
“When Darius made a post on Instagram needing prominent wall space to create ‘something special’ in Chicago, we jumped on the chance to feature one of his works on our building,” two said in the press release.
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