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Strides

Richmond’s newest sculpture commemorating the racial integration of Westhampton School was unveiled at the corner of Libbie and Patterson Avenues on January 30, 2024.



In 1961, after a three-year legal case and a U.S. District Court order to desegregate, Jane Cooper Johnson became the first African American student at Westhampton Junior High School at the age of 12. The new statue, "Strides," was commissioned by Bon Secours and Thalhimer Realty Partners, and designed by local artists Matt Lively and Tim Harper to prompt viewers to contemplate the significant pressures Jane must have experienced.


In 1961, after a three-year legal case and a U.S. District Court order to desegregate, Jane Cooper Johnson became the first African American student at Westhampton Junior High School at the age of 12.

The new statue, "Strides," was designed to prompt viewers to contemplate the significant pressures Jane must have experienced.



Joseph May, Director of Mission, Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital and Richmond Community Hospital, leading a blessing to close out the unveiling of the sculpture, while Jane Cooper Johnson (Formerly Daisy Jane Cooper) stands to his right). Jane Cooper Johnson (center) poses for a photo with her cousins, Sandra Taylor (right) and Ann-Frances Lambert (left), Councilwoman, Richmond City Council, 3rd District


 

Images taken on assignment with Richmond Free Press| Feb 1-3, 2024 Issue - A2


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