As part of Black History Month, nearly 30 walls in downtown and central Phoenix received meaningful makeovers. For each day in February, a mural celebrating Black heroes, icons, activists, athletes, musicians and more, was added to the city’s vibrant collection of street art.
The plan for the project, created by Gizette Knight of Reality Dreams LLC, was made possible by a call to local artists, volunteers and, of course, the participating businesses and buildings.
Below you’ll find the latest information — and inspiration — to embark on a self-guided mural tour of Black History in Phoenix.
Please Note: Updates will be made as new murals are completed.
Downtown Phoenix Murals
The Gold-Medal Olympians mural:
Serena Williams, a former No. 1 in women’s single tennis, has won a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era. She took home the gold in singles in 2012 and in doubles in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Wilma Rudolph (1940 – 1994), an American sprinter, was the first American woman to win three track-and-field gold medals in a single Olympics. At the 1960 Olympics in Rome, she took first the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100-meter relay races.
Florence Joyner (1958 – 1998), the fastest woman of all time, won three gold and one silver medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, before retiring the following year. She still holds the world records for both the 100- and 200-meter races.
Artist to come.
Parsons Center For Health and Wellness
The Good Trouble mural:
John Lewis (1940 – 2020) served in the Unites States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District and was honored for his civil rights activism and role on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Barack Obama was elected the first Black president of the United States in 2008 and, following reelection in 2012, served two terms.
Kamala Harris is the first female, the first Black, and first person of South Asian descent elected vice president, she is also the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history.
Portrait and background artist: @torvasm.
Loc’d Art Hair Spa
The Black Songstress mural:
Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012) was a singer, and actress, certified as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records. With over 200 million records sold worldwide, she is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time.
Diana Ross is a singer and actress who rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group, The Supremes, who became Motown's most successful act during the 1960s and one of the world's& best-selling girl groups of all time.
Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018) was a singer, songwriter, actress, pianist and civil rights activist. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Artists to come.
Roosevelt Community Church
The Men of Faith mural:
Richard Allen (1760 – March 26, 1831) was a minister, educator, writer, and one of America's most active and influential Black leaders. In 1794, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent Black denomination in the United States. Artist: @mmelanienicole.
Daniel Payne (1811 – 1893) was a major shaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was also an American bishop, educator, college administrator and author. Artist: Jennifer White.
Lemuel Haynes, a veteran of the American Revolution, became the first Black man in the United States to be ordained as a minister. Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Background by @evolvingthroughart.
Charlie Parker (1920 – 1955) was a an influential solo jazz saxophonist and composer who lead the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and advanced harmonies. Artist: @eliasart31.
Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959) is remembered as one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. In 2000, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Miles Davis (1926 – 1991) is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th century music. In his five-decade career, he earned 32 Grammy Award nominations — eight of which he won. Artist: ;@creation80.
Background by @alisia.malta.
By Any Means mural:
Huey P. Newton (1942 – 1989) was a revolutionary who co-founded the Black Panther Party and created a ten-point program to guide the African-American community to liberation. Artist: @lalocota.
Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) was a prominent human rights activist and a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam. His articulated concepts of Black Nationalism made him an ideological hero, especially among Black youth. Artist: @tatocaraveo.
Stokely Carmichael (1941 – 1998) was a civil rights activist and leader of Black nationalism in the United States in the 1960s, during which period he originated the "Black Power" rallying slogan. Artist: @tatocaraveo.
Phoenix Union Bioscience High School
The Black Excellence in STEM mural:
Marie Maynard Daly was the first African American women in the U.S. to receive a doctoral degree in chemistry (awarded by Columbia University in 1947) and she went on to develop programs to increase minorities in medical schools and graduate programs. Artist: @torvasm.
Ernest Just (1883 – 1941) is best known for his contributions to marine biology, including significant research on the fertilization of eggs and cells of marine mammals, ultimately winning international acclaim. In his earlier years, he co-founded Omega Psi Phi, the first Black fraternity on the Howard University campus. Artist: @mmelanienicole.
Patricia Bath (1942 – 2019) was an influential optometrist, inventor, humanitarian and academic. In 1986, she invented the laser cataract surgery (Lazerphaco Probe), making her the first African American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose. Artist: @mmelanienicole.
NFL Legends mural:
Ernie Davis (1939 – 1963) was the first Black recipient of the Heisman Trophy in 1961 during his short-lived career as an American football player.
Jim Brown is considered to be one of the greatest running backs in history. He was a Pro Bowl invitee every season, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Cleveland Browns in 1964.
Emmitt Smith is a three-time Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX), Super Bowl and league MVP and eight-time Pro Bowl selection whose 15-year career earned him the designation as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher.
Artist to come.
Phoenix Suns Arena
Phoenix Professional Ballers mural:
Skylar Diggins-Smith is known for leading Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours and two consecutive NCAA championship appearances. In her first season with the Phoenix Mercury (2020), she made the All-WNBA Second Team.
Brianna Turner was coming off two national championship appearances with Notre Dame when she entered the 2019 WNBA Draft. And, in her first season with the Phoenix Mercury, she made the 2019 All-Rookie Team.
Chris Paul has earned the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award, an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, two Olympic gold medals, and led the league in assists four times. The accomplished point guard joined the Phoenix Suns ahead of the 2020 season.
Monty Williams brought an extensive career as both a player (1994 – 2003) and a coach to the Phoenix Suns when he was hired as head coach in 2019.
Jevon Carter was known as one of the top defensive players in college basketball, winning the NABC Defensive Player of the Year and Lefty Driesell Awards. The point guard joined the Phoenix Suns in 2019.
Phoenix Mercury artist: @eliasart31. Phoenix Suns artist: @torvasm. Black and white portraits and Mercury logo by @alisia.malta. Lettering, landscape background and Suns logo by @mmelanienicole.
George Washington Carver Museum
A New Hope mural:
George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943) is widely known as one of the most prominent Black scientists of the early 20th century. His work, which included crop rotation and methods to prevent soil depletion, earned him the NAACP's Spingarn Medal.
Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist who escaped slavery and made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 other enslaved people using the Underground Railroad.
Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895) escaped slavery in Maryland and went on to become a national leader of the abolitionist movement who was recognized for his oratory and incisive antislavery writing.
Lolo’s Chicken & Waffles
The Culinary Queens mural:
Lucille Elizabeth Bishop Smith (1892 – 1985) invented the first hot biscuit mix that became a well-known brand served on American Airline flights and at the White House, eventually earning her the title of “Texas’s first African American Businesswoman.” Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Leyah (Leah) Chase (1923 – 2019), known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” provided a safe space for African Americans to meet during the civil rights movement, while advocating for African American Art and Creole Cooking. Artist: @evolvingthroughart.
Mrs. Elizabeth White began her family-owned chicken dynasty when she opened “Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe” in 1964. The White family has been serving timeless soul food classics to Phoenix ever since. Artist: @creation80.
Background by @eliasart31.
From the Negro League to the Hall of Fame mural:
Willard “Home Run" Brown (1915 – 1996) boasted a batting average of .337, making him one of the greatest power hitters of the Negro Leagues. He was also the first African-American to hit a home run in the American League. Artist: @creation80.
Jackie Robinson (1919 – 1972) broke through the baseball color barrier, and became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Willie Wells (1906 – 1989), a “five-tool player,” is recognized for his power, speed, accurate arm and defense during his time playing in the Mexican and Cuban Baseball Leagues. Artist: @evolvingthroughart.
Lettering by @eliasart3.
Black Theatre Troupe
The Comedy Greats mural:
Richard Pryor (1940 – 2005) was a class clown in school and a community theater actor in his teens, which led to his career as a successful stand-up comedian, movie actor and television writer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential stand-up comedians of all time.
Moms Mabley (1894 – 1975) was a comedian who modeled her stage persona largely on her grandmother who had been a slave. She became a veteran entertainer of the Chitlin' Circuit of African-American vaudeville and, after coming out at age 27, she also became one of the first openly gay comedians.
Redd Foxx (1922 – 1991) was a stand-up comedian and actor known as the “King of the Party Records,” who gained success through his nightclub acts and also for performing on more than 50 records in his lifetime.
Portraits and background illustration by @mmelanienicole.
The Local Legends mural:
Lincoln Ragsdale (1926 – 1995) was a Tuskegee Airmen as well as was a prominent historical figure for his outspokenness in the Phoenix-area civil rights movement, including various reform efforts on voting rights and the desegregation of schools, neighborhoods and public accommodations.
Calvin C. Goode (1927 – 2020) was a Phoenix city councilman for 22 years, during which he helped broker a compromise that led to a Phoenix ordinance prohibiting workplace discrimination against LGBTQ+ members and minorities.
Rev. George Brooks Sr. (1926 – 2007) was a longtime civil rights activist in Phoenix who served in the state Legislature and led the Maricopa County NAACP chapter in the 1960s. He founded Southminster Presbyterian Church and helped bring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Phoenix in the 1960s.
Portraits by @torvasm.
Uptown Phoenix Murals
The Leaving Her Mark mural:
Shirley Chisholm (1924 – 2005) was the first African American woman in Congress (1968) and the first woman and African American to seek nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major parties (1972). Artist: @johnny_the_murales.
Nina Simone (1933 – 2003) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles, including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop, showcased on more than 40 original albums. Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Angela Davis, currently a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is known for her work as a political activist, philosopher, academic and author. As an advocate for the oppressed, she was also a major figure in the prison abolition movement. Artist: by @creation80.
Lettering and background @johnny_the_murales.
Phoenix College Campus
The Black Trailblazers in the Sciences mural:
Percy Lavon Julian (1899 – 1975) was a research chemist and a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He was the first African-American chemist inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Artist to come.
Saint Elmo Brady (1884 – 1966) was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States. He received his doctorate at the University of Illinois in 1916, where he was the first African American admitted to the university's chemical honor society, Phi Lambda Upsilon. Artist to come.
Roger Arliner Young (1899 – 1964) was a scientist of zoology, biology and marine biology. She was the first African American woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology (1940 from the University of Pennsylvania). Artist to come.
Phoenix College Preparatory Academy
The Men of Justice mural:
William H. Hastie (1904 – 1976) was a lawyer, judge and public official who became first African American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, as a federal judge and as a federal appellate judge. Artist: Candace.
Thurgood Marshall (1908 – 1993) was the first African American Supreme Court Justice (1967 – 1991). He also played a prominent role in promoting racial equality, exemplified by him winning 29 cases before the Supreme Court. Artist: @johnny_the_murales.
Clarence Thomas is an associate justice of the Supreme Court who succeeded Thurgood Marshall in 1991. He is the second African American to serve on the Supreme Court. Artist: @az.rude.tattoo.
Encanto Elementary School
1420 W. Osborn Road, Phoenix
The Black women of NASA mural:
Mary Jackson (1921 – 2005) was a mathematician and aerospace engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which was succeeded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Artist: Jen.
Katherine Johnson (1918 – 2020) was a mathematician whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. In 2019, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Artist: @artthoutiffany.
Dorothy Vaughan (1910 – 2008) was a mathematician and human computer who worked for NACA and NASA. She was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Artist: @k.shalae_art.
Solano Elementary School
The Black Storytellers mural:
Paul Robeson (1898 – 1976) was a bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Artist to come.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891 – 1960) was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker whose works portrayed racial struggles in the early-1900s American South. Artist to come.
Langston Hughes (1901 – 1967) was a poet, social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist for the The Chicago Defender, a leading Black newspaper. In 1960, the NAACP awarded him the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American. Artist to come.