Honoring Unsung Heroes with Our Placemaking Project, Living Legends Mural

On Saturday, September 18, our newest placemaking project, located at Houston Park in Kenwood, was unveiled by the Jessie “Ma” Houston Parks Advisory Council. The Living Legends Mural honors three unsung community and civil rights activists who were hand-picked by the Parks Advisory Council: Timuel Black, Jr., Rosie Simpson and Reverend Helen Sinclair. These individuals had important influences on Black and minority communities around Chicago, including Kenwood, the neighborhood where Houston Park is located. 
  • Timuel Black Jr. is a civil rights activist who organized Chicago’s participation in the March on Washington in 1963. He is a retired teacher who taught at Chicago Public Schools, City College of Chicago and the University of Chicago. He also filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination against minority voters in the use of punch card ballots during the 2000 election.  
  • Rosie Simpson is an education activist who participated in the 1963 boycott and march from Chicago Public Schools which protested segregation policies that were put in place that year. 
  • Reverend Helen Sinclair is the daughter of Jessie “Ma” Houston, was a prison chaplain at Statesville Correctional Center and a founding member of Operation PUSH, a social justice organization. 
We helped fund this project through its placemaking program and through grants provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. Placemaking provides a way for community stakeholders to work together and make a neighborhood a better place to live, work and play, and helps build comprehensive communities. For more information on our other placemaking projects, click here.