The artwork of anti-violence activist Anita Franklin was unveiled at Duncan Park today. That’s the same place her son was shot and killed seven years ago.
Anita died at the beginning of 2020, but her family continues her legacy to this day.
In 2014, Antonio Franklin was shot and killed while walking through Duncan Park. Taking her hurt and turning it into a message of love and forgiveness, his mom Anita Franklin began organizing peace walks as part of her non-violence movement in Lexington.
“Losing someone to a senseless act like gun violence takes a toll on your community. Whether it happens next door, a few blocks over, a few minutes away, it still happened here and you don’t want to see that at all,” said her son, and fellow community activist Ricardo Franklin.
When Anita died from a heart attack in 2020, her son Ricardo Franklin ensured his mother’s legacy would be continued.
“I think when you see those faces, you’ve got to realize those families are hurting each and everyday. When I walk through and see those different faces it’s a tragedy. I think it just shows you have to work harder to make that number end at zero.”
The faces of those lost hanging in Duncan Park for all to see and honor before dozens joined in the mile-long peace walk.
“I’m pushing this narrative and I mean it. We’ve got to love each other.”
It’s the love a mother showed to her community even after losing a child. Now the community repaying that love with the newly finished mural.
“Even if it’s just one person that shows up here it’s still a success. It means we impacted one person.”
The mural was created through the combined efforts of LexArts, the sheriff’s office, and city leaders.
The artist is Keaton Young.