Celebrating multiculturalism and unity
A new 200-foot mural entitled “Unity Under the Sun” was unveiled at the Watts Historic Train Station Saturday, presented by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relation’s initiative LA vs Hate in partnership with nonprofit Build Plus Community Marketplace.
The highly visible mural spanning the walls surrounding the train station was created by local artists Showzart and Misteralek after a community engagement process.
“Unity Under the Sun” depicts a vast amount of cultural and historical symbols that reflect some of the many peoples, cultures, and movements that have been rooted, nurtured, and grown in Watts, and the surrounding area.
The mural features celebrated members of the Watts community like Simon Rodia, builder of the Watts Towers; Arturo Ybarra, executive director of the Watts Century Latino Organization; and Wajeha Bilal, executive director, Build Plus Community Marketplace, a celebrated community leader who has dedicated her work to advocating for the people of Watts.
LA Mayor Karen Bass is also depicted in the mural, celebrating her legacy as a community activist in South Central as the founder of Community Coalition. The mural highlights diverse members of the Watts community and reflects back the remarkable accomplishments of the region.
Event host Oshea Luja explained the significance of the location to those assembled for the unveiling, noting that the historic train station played a role in the Great Migration of Blacks from the states in the South.
“Many of us came all the way to Central Avenue and Watts,” he said. “Downtown Union Station was segregated, so many of our ancestors couldn’t get off there.”
“Unity Under the Sun” is an art intervention to fight hate, heal and bring communities from different ethnicities and cultures together, as part of the LA vs Hate community-driven approach to empower all residents of Los Angeles County to unite against, report, and resist hate.
This article is a part of a series of articles for Our Weekly's #StopTheHate campaign and is supported in whole or part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. #NoPlaceForHateCA,