SCOTLANDVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Community volunteers found creative ways to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy Monday.
An area of Scotlandville that could use a little T.L.C. is getting perhaps the best dose of it. A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into something that once seemed old and forgotten. Hundreds of volunteers canvassed a one mile stretch of Scenic Highway to brighten up buildings that may have gone dark or faded into a dim background. Cuttin' Corners Barbershop is getting a fresh new look. The artist behind the mural, Lionel Milton, calls it "space aged clippings."
"I think people get attached to stories and that's important it's like a Disney type thing. If the characters are like the people in the story, you're more likely to be involved and supported," said Milton.
The portrait is centered around the proprietor, Deshon Ruffin. The public artwork is meant to increase property value and give the community something to be proud of. Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul says it is part of a bigger picture.
"It's really refreshing to hear how engaged this community is and they want to be involved in the issues that affect their community when it comes to crime," said Paul.
It's a lesson for even the youngest of volunteers, like Cameron Hughes, who have come to realize what this day is really about. "If Martin Luther King hadn't done what he did, I wouldn't have all my friends, because a lot of my friends are another color," said Hughes.
Ruffin, the man at the center of the original art, could not peel his eyes away from the story unfolding before him. The transformation is so powerful, it renders Ruffin nearly speechless.
"Mind blowing, out of space, exactly like what you see. Out of space, man I can't believe it," said Ruffin.
But the picture speaks a thousand words with the idea of so many people coming together to promote positive change.