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The Lookout | September 28, 2021

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Students help create Malcolm X mural

Students help create Malcolm X mural
The Lookout

By Aaron Emerson
Editor in Chief

With race relations and equality on the minds of many across the U.S. recently, LCC students decided to use art to honor a civil rights legend.

Fifteen students from LCC instructor Aliza Robison’s sociology classes teamed up with the REACH Studio Art Center to meet with 10 high school students.

Robison’s students led discussions on civil rights, social inequality and Malcolm X. They then teamed up to make a life-sized Malcolm X mural, which is made out of tiles with words that highlight his life.

The artwork also features a casting of a hand so visitors can shake his hand.

The mural was unveiled Dec. 8 in the LCC Library, where several students spoke about what they learned.

The high school students were part of REACH’s Teen Open Studio. REACH, located in REO Town, collaborated with LCC’s Centre of Engaged Inclusion to start the process.

“With all of the things happening in our country with race, we thought Malcolm X would be a good person to feature and discuss,” said Joy Baldwin, REACH’s program director.

Baldwin said the students discussed Malcolm X for a couple of weeks, then spent roughly six weeks making the artwork.

“Each person just put their own message on to their tile, whether it was ‘peace,’ ‘equality,’ ‘love’ or whatever they wanted,” Baldwin said.

Tahsha Hardeman, an LCC student who attended the unveiling, said it was a special occasion.

“Thirty or 40 years ago, this wouldn’t have happened,” Hardeman said. “So to be able to take part in it is amazing.”

She also spoke about what Malcolm X stood for.

“He was just a powerful person, “Hardeman said.He was very compassionate, very strong minded and organized,”

The artwork will remain in the LCC Library, located on the second floor of the TLC Building, through February. It will then be transferred to Shabazz Public School Academy in Lansing, where it will permanently remain.