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Booker T. Washington mural finished

Ribbon cutting, reception set for Tuesday

ASHLAND— Ashland in Motion is excited to announce that the Booker T. Washington School Mural has been completed, and invites the community to the unveiling of a long-awaited initiative that celebrates Ashland’s history and the African-American community.

A reception and ribbon cutting for the mural, hosted by Ashland in Motion, is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ashland Train Depot, located next to the mural site.

Booker T. Washington School Mural is located on the Port of Ashland floodwall behind the Ashland Transportation Center, and depicts the school building and honors the legacy of the schools principal, C.B. Nuckolls, and the full-time curriculum faculty. An adjacent mural already depicts the Booker T. Washington School sports teams.

Local artist Jerry Johnson, a former student at Booker T. Washington School, along with assistance provided by the Ohio University Southern art department, painted the mural.

Local leaders and educators began fundraising efforts for the mural more than a decade ago, and Ashland in Motion adopted the project last year to advocate for its awareness and completion.

“Ashland in Motion is honored to have served such a worthy initiative. It has been truly inspiring to hear the personal accounts of all the generous donors and to witness the determination of the project committee,” Whitney Lowe, executive director of Ashland in Motion, said. “Ashland in Motion looks forward to the debut of this project as it honors the past and preserves the memory and lessons of the Booker T. Washington School for future generations.”

The Booker T. Washington School, formerly located on Central Avenue and Seventh Street in Ashland, was built in 1903, closed in 1962 and was later demolished.

A plaque now stands at the site of the school that served Ashland’s African-American youth during the Jim Crow era. The school sustained itself primarily on donations from the African-American community.