Hope Springs Forth Brightly
Video by Manny Figaro
In honor of the legacy, heritage and culture of this historical African-American business and residential area of the BLOCK. We invite you to explore the past history of those who lived and breathed in this thriving vibrant community.
On December 21, 1978, Dr. Wesley Grant Sr, presented city officials with a list of demolished or displaced establishments, which he simply titled, “losses.” It accompanied a letter which began, “In the East Riverside Area, we have lost more than eleven hundred homes, six Beauty Parlors, five Barber Shops, five Filling Stations, fourteen Grocery Stores, three Laundry Mats, eight Apartments, seven Churches, three Shoe Shops, two Cabinet Shops, two Auto Body Shops, one Hotel, five Funeral Homes, one Hospital, and three Doctor’s Offices.” A total of 16 types of businesses and residential areas. The combined total of 16 cubes on Eagle & Market St represent those losses. The mural map represents the area of the BLOCK where they were once located. The Market Street Installation represents the past, the Eagle Street Installation Represents the future. Hope Springs Forth Brightly tells the stories of the past, but most importantly the future.
The installation is an incredible collaborative artwork. It was the vision of Art Ecologie: Monique Luck, Flavia Lovatelli and Francisco Gonzalez. Created with care and with impute from local artists, historical guides, community members and children who contributed to the artworks, it includes the amazing local talent of muralist Joseph Pearson and Literary artist Phylis Utley whose words infuse energy into the installation. The artworks on the cubes were created by weaving historical images and designs, evoking compassion-contemplation, thought. Hope Springs Forth Brightly is a physical and, hopefully, spiritual, reminder of the throbbing heart of the Black community demolished during urbanization, a heart being repaired with time and storytelling.