LINCOLN HEIGHTS, Ohio (FOX19) - The Village of Lincoln Heights celebrated its 74th anniversary Monday by dedicating a new mural in Serenity Park.
The 80-ft.-long mural traces the timeline of the community from its incorporation in 1941, when redlining and restrictive zoning drew Black families to its homes and it became, according to Lincoln Heights by Carolyn Smith, among the densest concentrations of Black residents in Ohio. (The village remains 95 percent Black but has lost nearly half its population since 1960, according to the 2010 census.)
Dubbed ‘Black Excellence in Zone 15’ in reference to the village’s 45215 zip code, the mural also recognizes many of the village’s notable figures — Olympians, local heroes, professional athletes like Tony Yates and musicians such as The Isley Brothers.
Built and painted by local high-schoolers, the mural was unveiled Monday with dozens in attendance.
Princeton High School student Immanuel Floyd is one of the artists who helped bring the mural to life.
“I think it’s amazing to put some history of a Black community out in the open for everyone to see that it’s not all about guns and violence and drugs and so forth, but there is a sense of art and growth and restoration,” Floyd said.
“Especially me being a youth myself, it allowed me to get that sense of giving back to the community starting now, so as I continue to get older and I continue to produce more work for the community, I myself can inspire an artist to do things just like this.”
Others say it’s important to show what people from Lincoln Heights can do.
“We need this. We need to let the world know that Lincoln Heights, that black folk, (that) we are good people, we can do things, we can accomplish anything we want to accomplish,” said Gail Brady.
Lincoln Heights Council Member Daronce Daniels agrees.
“That’s where the brightness of the blues and yellows come through,” Daniels said. “So when you ride by, you stop and think, ’Well, if these folks have also come from Lincoln Heights, then we can break all the stereotypes that’s been said, and we can all come together and move on to do great things.’”
The mural was placed in Serenity Park, according to its creators, because of its location across from the city council building, the goal being those who hang out int he park might find themselves drawn into the political process as well.