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Ruby Dee Mural at Karamu House

Launch of Ruby Dee Mural
Karamu House
July 26, 2013

Sankofa Fine Art Plus commissioned nationally renowned muralist Kent Twitchell to work with select local artists and community members to honor one of Karamu House's most successful alums, Ruby Dee.

The mural was officially unveiled in a ceremony on July 26, 2013.

In this video, Peter Lawson Jones introduced Cleveland Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell who gave a community perspective on the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House, the historic African-American playhouse in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.

Peter Lawson Jones served as MC

Peter Lawson Jones served as MC



Sankofa Fine Art Plus board member Cassandra Washington spoke about the journey of getting the mural of Ruby Dee completed. She then introduced Latoya Smith, Sankofa Board Chair who was a champion of the project.



World renowned muralist Kent Twitchell was introduced by Peter Lawson Jones at the unveiling ceremony of the mural of Ruby Dee at Karamu House, the historic African-American playhouse in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.

Kent Twitchell

Kent Twitchell


Kent Twitchell told about the process and why he wanted to recognize Ruby Dee.



The apprentices who worked with and learned from muralist Kent Twitchell were recognized at the unveiling ceremony of the mural of Ruby Dee at Karamu House.

apprentices who worked with and learned from muralist Kent Twitchell

apprentices who worked with and learned from muralist Kent Twitchell



There were several performances at the event including two exceptional young people.

Devores Denson and Demetria McCullogh

Devores Denson and Demetria McCullogh


Devores Denson from the Concrete Orchids group of the creative writing department of the Cleveland School of the Arts recited an original poem at the unveiling ceremony of the mural of Ruby Dee at Karamu House, the historic African-American playhouse in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood. The poem is called Chiraq and bemoans the fact that 314 soldiers died in Iraq while 509 died in Chicago.



Demetria McCullogh from the Concrete Orchids group of the creative writing department of the Cleveland School of the Arts recited an original poem called Unity and talks about social media, celebrity and other issues facing teens.



This next poem talks about the future and its possibilities.



Next was a poem called Projects and talks about life in the projects.



Prester Picket, Coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center at Cleveland State University, told of the legacy of Ruby Dee at the unveiling ceremony of the mural of Ruby Dee. He then performed a Langston Hughes poem about Aunt Sue in honor of Ruby Dee.



Prester Picket

Prester Picket


He then performed a Langston Hughes poem called The Negro Speaks of Rivers (I've known rivers…)



Prester Picket

Prester Picket


He then performed a Naomi Long Madgett poem called Midway that begins: I've come this far to freedom and I won't turn back.

Kent Twitchell and Councilman Mamie Mitchell

Kent Twitchell and Councilman Mamie Mitchell


Student artists

Student artists


Posing in front of the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House

Posing in front of the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House


Posing in front of the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House


Posing in front of the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House


Posing in front of the new Ruby Dee mural at Karamu House


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