Incredibly moving video documenting the creation of Ypsi’s HP Jacobs mural

Not too long ago on The Saturday Six Pack, I talked with Ypsi Community Schools (YCS) art teacher Lynne Settles, local historian Matt Siegfried, an Ypsi High student by the name of Paris, and Jackson-based artist Douglas Jones about the work they’d done, along with several dozen YCS students, to create a new mural on the south side of Ypsi commemorating the incredible life and accomplishments of HP Jacobs, a runaway slave from Alabama who made his way to Ypsilanti, became a janitor at what is now Eastern Michigan University, and then went on to found both a church and a school for black children here, before heading back south for several years after the Civil War, where he served in the Mississippi State Senate, helped found what is now Jackson State University, and, at the age of 65, become a doctor. Well, as much as I’d like to think that, during our discussion, we collectively conveyed a sense of just how incredibly inspiring this project was, there’s really no substitute for seeing Ypsi’s young artists working on it firsthand. And, now, thanks to the folks at Dream Real Photo & Video, you can do just that… Check out this incredible piece of video.

[The HP Jacobs mural can be found on the side of Currie’s barbershop, at 432 Harriet Street, in Ypsilanti.]

This entry was posted in Art and Culture, Education, History, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. 734
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful video.

    Does anyone know if Jacobs has family in the area? If so, it would be great for them to know about this.

  2. Matt Siegfried
    Posted November 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    734- Unfortunately I don’t believe HP Jacobs has any living descendants. Two of his daughters did live in the area until old age, almost until 1950, however.

  3. Peter Larson
    Posted November 19, 2015 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Was this painted with child slave labor?

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Ypsi Immigration Interview: Lynne Settles on January 22, 2016 at 11:03 am

    […] with Ypsi High art teacher Lynne Settles a few times over this past year, about the HP Jacobs mural that she and her students had created on the side of Currie’s barbershop, and other community art related things, I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago that she was […]

  2. […] pulling people together and instilling a sense of community. Over past year or so, I can think of two African American history murals by local high school students that have been completed, as well as […]

  3. […] be reciting “The Perils of the Republic” with their voices. Given the incredible and inspiring work that Lynne and her students have done in the past, I suspect it will be awesome… […]

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