ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As a way to recognize Black History Month, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority unveiled a newly wrapped bus aimed to promote diversity and inclusion.
The sign on the bus may read St. Pete, but this particular bus isn’t just headed for a destination, it’s headed for inspiration.
“What you will see in the mural are words like peace and love, unity, family and educate, and those are all words synonymous with PSTA and what we stand for,” said Tamika Gunn White, Senior Human Resources Manager with PSTA.
This is the second year PSTA has dedicated a bus to Black History Month.
“This mural used to be on a building in downtown St. Petersburg and unfortunately that building was torn down so we were able to resurrect this artwork and keep it alive,” said White.
The St. Pete artist responsible, Zulu Painter, was in amazement when he saw the finished product.
“This opportunity is huge, I couldn’t imagine a better way to get out and be seen and really have an impact on the community that's viewing my art,” said Zulu Painter, who used to ride PSTA quite often.
In the mural Zulu Painter highlights dozens of civil rights leaders, beginning with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and progressing through history to the modern-day.
“This mural ranks right at the top of the pieces that I’m really proud of and it’s great to know that all the energy that was put into it has been received,” said Zulu Painter.
PSTA said from now until summer the bus will travel throughout the main corridors of Pinellas County, potentially catching the eyes of millions of people.
“Art is a driving force behind diversity and unity, it is something that we can all admire and come together on,” said White.
Zulu Painter said the best part is he gets to share his contribution with his own children.
“I just want my kids to see that they can do whatever they put their minds to, the American dream,” said Zulu Painter.
For more on his artwork, go to www.zulupainter.com.