This week we further explore the life and legacy of civil rights icon Octavius Catto – who will be honored again in Philadelphia in a very big way.
Catto, in the 1860’s, desegregated street cars and pushed to break the color barrier in baseball more than a century before the Phillies won their first world series. This orator and military officer is the first African American to be memorialized with a statue on public land in the history of the City of Philadelphia. And now he will be honored again in very big way. A mural will be painted and placed at a school on the 14-hundred block of Catherine Street in the Spring of 2018 commemorating Catto. In Focus shares the just released rendering of the Octavius Catto mural. The two artists who created the mural – Keir Johnston and Willis Nomo join Jennifer to talk about their inspiration for creating the artwork. Cari Feiler - spokesperson for Mural Arts Philadelphia - explains how the public can get involved in this historic event and take part in painting the mural. Daniel Biddle and Murray Dubin who are co-authors of - “Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America" also join Jennifer. The authors share key historical information and events relevant to Catto – past and present and where they see his legacy making a difference in the future. In Focus airs Saturdays mornings at 6:30 AM on PHL17.