BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Hundreds of students walk the halls of Allen Hall at Louisiana State University every day, but for some, it’s an uncomfortable commute to their next class.
Just above the brick walls are the Allen Hall Murals, painted by LSU art students during the late 1930s and early 40s. Industrial and agricultural-related jobs are illustrated but LSU student Alexia Kimble says it is not the place for this history lesson.
“It is noticeable until you notice, then you can not notice it,” said Kimble. “That’s something I don’t want to see every day so I decided to make a TikTok about it because I was distressed about how I didn’t feel that black people had a place here.”
Depicted in the mural are Black people picking cotton, doing hand labor, and even sleeping on the job. According to LSU, the pictures are not meant to depict slavery but rather, important parts of the state’s economy during those times. However, today the Black students who roam these halls say it makes them feel out of place.
“It just makes me feel some type of way because even though there are white people working in the painting who’s the one that’s picking the cotton,” said LSU student Alana Jackson.
Kimble’s Tik-Tok has been viewed over 80,00 times and has over 2,000 comments. She has received much support from people who say it’s time to cover the painting.
“If this was in an art gallery, that would be different but this is in a place of education the only people who see this mural are students,” Kimble said.
It’s not the first time LSU students have made noise about the murals they say only depict white people in positions of integrity, but they hope it’s the last.
“I just want to let every Black person know that goes to LSU or any PWI, you have every right to be here, you have every right to make this place comfortable for you,” said Kimble.