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Mural honors legacy of late Gainesville social justice activist, Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 6:22 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A mural that Gainesville residents hold near to their heart was unveiled today, honoring the late Gainesville activist and educator of African-American studies, Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn.

Artist, Yvonne Ferguson, painted the mural to honor Dr. Hilliard-Nunn, who she said was like an aunt to her.

“She planted a lot of seeds as far as activism and social justice and mentoring and just generally like growing the community,” Ferguson said.

The unveiling of the mural incorporated cultural dances, libation and words from loved ones and city officials.

She chose the Martin Luther King Jr. center because it’s one of the places Dr. Hilliard-Nunn connected with community the most.

“We wanted it to be a place where people can sit together, talk, have a picnic, come light a candle, send a message up to her and reflect on how she influences their lives and what they plan to do,” Ferguson said.

Related stories: University of Florida dedicates new film collection in honor of late Dr. Hilliard-Nunn

Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn’s daughter, Foluke Nunn, believed this mural is the perfect way to remember and honor her legacy.

“Future generations of children being able to see her face, see her name, see the Sankofa bird on the wall, see her quote about how it’s important to study and focus and stand together,” said Nunn. “I think this is just a perfect location.”

Dr. Hilliard-nunn’s husband, Kenneth Nunn, also believes the MLK Center is a great place to honor her.

“For it to be on a community building here in a town where she committed her life to doing that kind of work just means so much, to I think all of us, as a family,” said Kenneth Nunn.

The mural also features a Kente border where people can write words of remembrance.

“Thank you so much again to Yvonne for creating this,” added Foluke Nunn.

Dr. Hilliard-Nunn passed away in August 2020 but her legacy lives on in the hearts of the many lives she influenced.

Yvonne Ferguson’s mural is not the only social justice mural around Gainesville. Artists and locations are listed below.

Robert Ponzio and Mimi Stocker with Lauren Donnellan at Cofrin Nature Park (4810 NW 8th Ave.)

Myqueal Lewis and Pam Valcante adjacent the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multipurpose Center (1028 NE 14th St.)

Thomas Berdugo and Jenna Horner at Oakview Park (810 NW 8th Ave.)

Turbado Marabou with Shauna Lillywhite and Angel Mir adjacent Porters Community Center (512 SW 2nd Terr.)

Jesus (Seck 37) Martinez, Guido Montenegro, Justo (RAS) Rodriguez and Fabian Sanchez at Possum Creek Skate Park (4009 NW 53rd Ave.)

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