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Mural honoring U.S. Rep John Lewis completed in downtown Nashville

Local artists Michael McBride and Donna Woodley designed and installed the work.
Credit: Celeste Malone

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A mural honoring the life of U.S. Rep. John Lewis and community leaders was completed on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

The four-story mural is located at the corner of Rep. John Lewis Way and Commerce Street in Nashville. It honors the accomplishments of Lewis and the Freedom Riders.

Jerrick Lewis, the nephew of Lewis, called the mural "a special honor for the Lewis family."

"This mural not only represents a time in which my uncle lived, studied, and advocated in Nashville but also a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement," Jerrick Lewis said. "Thank you for honoring Congressman John Lewis in a way that highlights his legacy."

Councilwoman Joy Styles commissioned on behalf of the Minority Caucus and the Mural Committee. 

"Nashville was the impetus for the late Rep. John Lewis' career in social justice and civil rights. It is only fitting that we honor his place in Nashville history, here on Rep. John Lewis Way, with a depiction of his time here with the Freedom Riders and Woolworth's sit-ins," Styles said. "This mural will provide residents and visitors alike the opportunity to learn about our civil rights history that is not often discussed. Nashville was often at the forefront of the fight for equality, and we are proud of our 'Good Trouble' heritage."

What is being called the tallest mural in Nashville is the first to honor Nashville's civil rights history within the downtown corridor. Local artists Michael McBride and Donna Woodley designed and installed the work.

"I am delighted and honored to have been selected to paint the mural of my Phi Beta Sigma fraternity brother, the late Rep. John Lewis," Michael McBride said. "We worked seven days a week and often seven to eight hours a day to bring this project to life. I am deeply grateful and appreciative to have had this once in a lifetime opportunity."

The continuation of the mural is part of this summer’s celebration of Lewis and the unveiling of Representative John Lewis Way.


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