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North Philadelphia Rec Center Gets New Mural Honoring Its Namesake

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The corner of 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, in North Philadelphia, has a new look.   The Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center now sports a mural of the slain civil rights leader.

At today's dedication, "Children of the Arts" (in photo) provided the entertainment. They practice at the recreation center every Saturday.

One member of the group, Yadielix Rodriquez, says it means a great deal to them to have the mural there.

"It expresses how us people of color came to be, how we fought against how people treated us differently because of the color of our skin.  It's just so wonderful how somebody could bring up a picture on that wall that shows us how we became united," she said today.

The mural, in beige and grey tones, shows King marching during the civil rights movement.

Artists worked with community members on the design, and with the Mural Arts Program for Ex-Offenders on the installation.

Warner Burton and Tajmere McLean, who box at the center, say the mural transforms more than just the building.

"It changes the whole neighborhod, honestly, to me," Burton said.  "It changes me, it changes the mood."

McLean agreed:  "It's therapy.  You see people on the corner, you think Philly is a bad city.  But when you come down here, there's a difference."



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