Mural honors Charlotte's first high school for African-Americans

A mural was dedicated this morning in honor of the students of the former Second Ward High School and Black History Month.

“This is part of the real Charlotte. This is part of what uptown Charlotte used to be about,” said George Dunlap, chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners

Second Ward High School used to stand proud in Uptown, at was is now MLK Boulevard and McDowell Street. In the segregated south--  it was the city's first high school for blacks. Today that school is memorialized in art.

“It is a great honor and privilege to have this to remember 2nd ward,” said Leonard Miller, Sr.

Miller graduated from the school in 1962.

“We're trying to pass it on to a lot of our children and grandchildren so they'll know there was a second ward,” he said.

Prior to NASCAR and Bank of America and many of the other skyscrapers in Charlotte, the area was known as Brooklyn. It was one of the largest black neighborhoods in Charlotte. They say the mural is about preserving that history

The school operated from 1923 until 1969. It was demolished in 1970.

Tommie Robinson painted the mural, he says the characters tell the story of the school and the neighborhood.

“I wanted to bring out the strive, the achievement. If you look at the painting everybody is striving to do something, be something,” said Robins.