New mural celebrates integration of Memphis schools

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A new mural is being displayed inside of a Memphis elementary school to celebrate the integration of Memphis schools.

The mural inside of the cafeteria at Bruce Elementary depicts the group known as the "Memphis 13," the of first graders who integrated Memphis schools in 1961.

Dwania Kyles, Harry Williams and Menelik Fombi were the three students who integrated Bruce Elementary. They're known as the "Bruce 3."

Dwania Kyles didn't realize at the time the narrative she was creating.

"Yes, we stood on other's shoulders," Kyles said, "now its time for us to stand in place and let them stand on our shoulders, and I'm excited."

Kyles added she's grateful her parents had the forethought to send her down a path never before taken.

Kyles said it is a mission accomplished to see the current principal, Archie Moss Jr., helping mold the minds of future leaders. It was just 60 years ago when he wasn't allowed to even walk the halls of the school.

"To know that now when the children walk -- children like me who walk these halls-- they are walking in an energy that's filled with love," Kyles said.

They started painting the mural in October of 2019. The mural was painted by local artist Jamond Bullock and sponsored by ServiceMaster.

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