The mural on the south-facing wall of the school (all images courtesy of Brice Media)

To inaugurate the school year at Barack H. Obama Magnet in Jackson, Mississippi, the city commissioned a mural of the school’s namesake, former president Barack Obama. This is the first year the school (which is 97.3% Black) will be known under this moniker. The school was originally named after the first and only Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. In October 2017, thanks to pioneering by students and parents from the school, the school board voted to alter the school’s namesake for the 2018–19 school year. 

One of the artists working on the mural

The mural was painted by married duo Charles and Talameika Brice — reported rivals during their days in art school — who operate Brice Media, tackling photography, design, and artistic consulting in the Jackson area. They were selected by The Greater Jackson Arts Council, from an open call, to create a public artwork about the landmark decision.

“Representation is important, and to be able to share in this legacy and create work our children can be proud of is a huge honor,” Talamieka Brice said in a press release issued by the Greater Jackson Arts Council.

Originally known as Davis Magnet Elementary School, Obama Magnet is the top-performing elementary school in the state. It operates under the Jackson Public School District.

Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and former news editor at Hyperallergic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.