Halbert Sullivan and Arthur Ashe

From Vacancy to Agency: St. Louis Murals of Redemption

Halbert Sullivan and Arthur Ashe

St. Louis, Missouri 63107, United States

Created By: Mural Tours


This bright mural features Halbert Sullivan, the founder and CEO of the Fathers’ Support Center in St. Louis. The mission of his nonprofit is to “provide noninvolved fathers the support they need to get back into the lives of their children as positive, productive parents” (“Chief Executive Officer Halbert Sullivan”). Sullivan’s backstory is one that perfectly embodies the redemption narrative produced by Chris Green in his murals. In 1993, he had been suffering from drug addiction for almost twenty years, had been to prison three times—one time receiving a life sentence for selling drugs that he eventually appealed, and was finally ready to make a change. After going to a rehabilitation center, he went to community college and eventually gained a Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. After working as a social worker in the St. Louis Public Schools, he decided to address the issue of absentee fathers and created the FSC (Murphy). On the mural of Halbert Sullivan, like in some of his other murals, Green paints the emblem of the subject’s organization. Clearly positioned directly over Sullivan’s heart, the logo for the Fathers’ Support Center is painted with distinct white lines—impossible to miss on the backdrop of his black suit jacket. The positioning of this symbol is undoubtedly purposeful, representing the heart and soul Sullivan and other prominent Black leaders pour into their communities. Additionally, the vibrant, high-valued, solid-colored orange for the background of the portrait is a great example of the important contrast of textures and color between Chris Green’s murals and the houses on which they reside. This further emphasizes the importance of the issue he wants to reveal.

This point of interest is part of the tour: From Vacancy to Agency: St. Louis Murals of Redemption


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