Skip to Content

Mural vandalized at civil rights center opened by women who helped desegregate NOLA schools

By Shay O’Connor

Click here for updates on this story

    New Orleans (WDSU) — NOPD is searching for the person or persons responsible for vandalizing a newly painted mural at the Tate, Etienne, Prevost Center in the Lower 9th Ward. The center was started in 2021 by three of four women who helped to desegregate schools in New Orleans when they were only little girls.

The vandalization happened two nights in a row by what appears to be the same man.

Dr. Leona Tate, one of the New Orleans Four, said, “Why someone thought to write all over it already, I have no idea. It sends me the signal that either racism is still alive or someone has not been educated on what we do here.”

The four girls were only 6 when they braved racism and abuse 64 years ago. It was at McDonogh 19 where Tate, Tessie Prevost and Gail Etienne started school in 1960. At the same time, Ruby Bridges started over at William Frantz.

Decades later and Tate, Prevost and Etienne own McDonogh 19.

“TEP Center is here to educate audiences about the desegregation of public schools across New Orleans,” Tate said.

A part of the education is allowing well-known artist B-Mike and youth from his nonprofit Eternal Seeds to paint a mural outside showing the three girls in their youth and also as women.

It was unveiled days ago, but as soon as it went up, someone painted over it with black spray paint two nights in a row. Starting last Sunday night.

“These were children who painted this. It’s heartbreaking to them,” Tate said.

The women said they won’t let the situation impact their mission.

“It’s fixable. I’m praying it doesn’t happen again,” Tate said.

As of late last week, Brandon B-Mike Odums and the kids with Eternal Seeds went back to the mural and repainted it. So it looks brand new again. NOPD said they are having a detective look into the case.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content