Seven Saints of St Pauls: Murals honour black Bristolians
- 26 June 2015
- From the section Bristol
Key people who shaped Bristol's black community are to be immortalised in seven murals on prominent walls around the St Pauls area of the city.
It is the idea of local artist Michele Curtis who plans to first stage an exhibition featuring the people she calls the Seven Saints of St Pauls.
Portraits include the St Pauls Carnival founders and those who led the 1963 Bristol bus boycott.
Ms Curtis said the idea was to celebrate their legacy.
"Black history in Bristol stretches far beyond its roots in the slave trade, although we are constantly reminded of the merchants and slave owners of Bristol through the prominent naming of streets, (Guinea Street) buildings (Colston Tower) and statues (Edward Colston)," she said.
The approaching 50th anniversary of the St Pauls Carnival in 2018 inspired Ms Curtis to come up with the idea.
"St Pauls has such a bad reputation - I want to change the perception that nobody and nothing good has come out of here," said Ms Curtis.
Positive initial discussions have been held with Bristol City Council and housing associations to paint the murals on houses or prominent buildings along the route of the carnival procession.
"Having these murals up in the air is a conversation with your child on the way to school - it's knowledge, history, fun," said Ms Curtis.
"People will ask who they are and why their portrait is on the wall."
Seven Saints of St Pauls
Owen Henry - A founder of the Commonwealth Co-ordinated Committee (CCC) set up to highlight open racial discrimination in Bristol in the 1960s and supporter of the Bristol bus boycott of 1963
Carmen Beckford - Community development worker and one of the initial organisers of the carnival
Roy Hackett - Co-founder and chair of the CCC which set up and ran the St Pauls Festival
Barbara Dettering - Key member of Bristol West Indian Parents' and Friends' Association and civil rights campaigner
Clifford Drummond - Secretary and treasurer of the CCC
Delores Campbell - First female member of the CCC and co-founder of the St Pauls Festival
Audley Evans - Founder member of CCC
Dr Paul Stephenson OBE, who led the Bristol bus boycott, said educating wider Bristol about "the contribution of immigrants from the Caribbean and particularly Jamaica is very important".
"It will also serve as a reminder to the next generation of the contribution the past generation has made," he said.