Retired teacher honored in mural celebrating 50th anniversary of school desegregation

"We taught children from every race, every creed, every color," says Pearlie Harris who taught before, during and after school integration.


An eight-story mural was recently completed in Greenville, South Carolina, honoring the 50th anniversary of integration in schools. Among depictions of actual students from the area, Pearlie Harris, an educator who worked for the district before and after the integration, is also included.


"I was a part of that integration. I went into schools before we integrated and then, and we integrated, I was that teacher," Harris said. "We taught children from every race, every creed, every color."

Australian artist Guido van Helten met with community leaders who enthusiastically recommended Harris be honored in the mural.

"I just put a visual representation of something that people can interpret and work towards growth in their own way," said van Helten.

When Harris saw the mural, she said, "I would hope that those children and their parents see dedication, love, understanding, communication and commitment. Those are the things I thought about when I was a teacher. How committed are you to the things that you're doing?"

Watch Harris talk about her work and what she hopes the mural inspires.