Learn More About 'JXN Icons' Phase 2

The second phase of the JXN Icons series was unveiled in Jackson in November 2021, celebrating nine additional heroes, visionaries, and legends of Mississippi's capital city.

Colorful paintings depict  James Meredith, Margaret Walker Alexander and Richard Wright.
James Meredith, Margaret Walker Alexander and Richard Wright are three of the new "Jxn Icons." Image: Drew Dempsey

The Icons include Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander, Angie Thomas and Richard Wright for their literary contributions; Dorothy Moore for her musical contributions in blues, gospel and R&B genres; Harold "Hal" and Malcolm "Mal" White for conceiving the idea to establish Hal & Mal's, the iconic restaurant and hub for live music and the iconic Hal's St. Paddy's Parade; James Meredith for the bravery he exhibited planning and leading Mississippi's largest civil rights march, the March Against Fear from Memphis, TN to Jackson, MS, even after being shot and suffering many wounds, he led Mississippi's largest civil rights march; Hezekiah Watkins for his bravery at such a young age, his sacrifice and activism as the youngest Freedom Rider; and Walter Payton for his athletic prowess that contributed to Jackson State University's notoriety.

The additional Icons join Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers; writer and photographer Eudora Welty; American ballet dancer, educator, and author Thalia Mara; and rapper and philanthropist David Banner, unveiled in July 2020 as a mural on the back of the Old Capitol Inn.

Visit Jackson's Creative Design Manager, Reshonda "Shon" Perryman, was commissioned to create the artwork for the series to portray the members of the elite Jackson list."

Art is my second language and serving my community is my happy place," said Reshonda Perryman, Creative Design Manager for Visit Jackson. "Any opportunity to marry the two brings me great pleasure. It is all the more satisfying to do it in honor of daring and inspiring individuals, who had a hand in shaping that community."

"Public art has grown significantly over the past few years as a way for cities to bring focus to their strengths and gifts," said Dr. Rickey Thigpen, President & CEO of Visit Jackson. "The City With Soul is no exception, and we will continue to find ways to nurture this new tourism trend to evoke a robust culture of public art."

The event was held at the Ecoshed (no The Plant) located at 133 Commerce Park Drive in Jackson, where the exhibit was temporarily housed for public viewing November - December 2021.