Artist Aniekan Udofia revisited his mural honoring Black history on the wall outside of a popular hot dog spot in D.C. His work, The Torch is a vision board of aspirations for people of all backgrounds to look up to.
The D.C.-born, Nigeria-raised artist included the historical likenesses of Harriet Tubman, former President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Roberta Flack, Chuck Brown, Dave Chappelle, Dick Gregory, among many others. And he allowed the public to get involved— the 16 icons were chosen after 30,000 participated in a vote.
According to what Udofia told VICE, The Torch embodies the history of Black America in three parts: “Separation: we were in Africa. Initiation: we were brought here as slaves. Return: those people on the wall. They became something through adversity.”
Udofia’s mural hadn’t been refurbished in five years, but with a recent renewal he wanted to focus on including new figures based on historical impact rather than fame. And one figure was erased from the original mural: Bill Cosby.
“It was more about hitting the refresh button,” Udofia says. “This was a transformation, a rejuvenating process.”
See more photos of the mural below.