Virginia Capitol Connections Winter 2023

“Standing Tall and Proud” Mural Graces Tazewell County Courthouse Grounds By A.J. ROBINSON A new public artwork is now permanently installed on Main Street, Tazewell, Virginia, representing more than a century of African American Heritage in Tazewell County. Life-size portraits of sixteen African American men and women are featured in the “Standing Tall and Proud” mural, whose name was taken from a line in a poem by George Murray Dickerson, one of the honorees. The project was commissioned by the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors who appointed and tasked The Citizens Courthouse Grounds Improvement Committee to pay tribute to notable African American natives of the County. Since their initial meeting in July 2021, the committee met monthly and was led by co-chairs Flora Sinkford and Mabel Horton, along with Board of Supervisor Shanna Plaster in dedicating themselves to researching, planning, and facilitating an inspiring mural to pay tribute to those born into slavery in the mid-1850s to those living into the 21st century. These men and women were business leaders, civil rights activists, educators, poets, and politicians. The portraits were drawn and designed in color by local muralist Ellen Elmes and the committee had coordinating narrative plaques made to tell the history of each subject. The project may be viewed at 101 Main Street in Tazewell, Virginia. AJ Robinson is the Director of Communications and Tourism for Tazewell County, Virginia where she oversees the County’s public relations, tourism industry, broadband initiatives, recreational development and community COVID-19 response. Previously, she worked in the United States Senate. A native of the Commonwealth, Robinson is passionate about serving her community and is on the board of the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, the Crooked Road and Communities in Schools of Southwest Virginia.

Shanna Plaster, Supervision.


V irginia C apitol C onnections , W inter 2023


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