Jilchristina Vest recently commissioned Oakland muralist Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith to paint a piece on the side of her home dedicated to the unsung women of the Black Panther Party, and her dream has come to fruition, reports Mercury News.
“Rachel is a phenom. She is next level. She is a gift. I could not have completed this journey, this project, without her. She is the person who was meant to bring my vision to life,” Vest said.
Vest bought her 1886 Victorian home on the corner of Center and Ninth streets in West Oakland 21 years ago this Sunday, yards from the spot where Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton was shot and killed by Black Guerilla Family member Tyrone Robinson in 1989, and just a few blocks away from the Panther’s former headquarters at Peralta and 14th streets.
She was recently inspired, yet emotionally tired, by seeing the murals of Black people in downtown Oakland who were killed by police. As a Black woman, she felt “bowed” by the death of George Floyd and many others as the Black Lives Matter movement became another pivotal moment in human rights.
“Those memorialize what has been done to us. This is honoring what we can do for ourselves,” Vest said. “They’re very important, and they’re very beautiful, but they’re also very painful.”