Now privately owned, the James O. Eastland federal post office and courthouse was constructed in 1933-34. The building contains a controversial New Deal mural painted in 1938 by Simka Simkovitch titled “Pursuit of Life in Mississippi.” After being covered up for decades, the mural was rediscovered in 2011.
The mural “shows African-Americans picking cotton and playing the banjo alongside a white family…
The mural, which is in the main courtroom on the fourth floor, had been hidden behind a curtain since the 1960s when the first African-American judge appointed to the federal court in Mississippi ordered it to be covered, historians said.
The curtain was removed recently when the building and its contents went up for auction. The 115,000-square-foot space has sat vacant since Aug. 1, following the June opening of the new federal courthouse.
Jim Woodrick, the director of historic preservation for the state, said the mural will not be painted over.” (www.wapt.com)
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on April 19, 2014.