MuralGate Continues: University of Kentucky Changes Class Venue Over Mural

Artist Ann Rice O’Hanlon’s 1930s work in Memorial Hall depicts several scenes in the history of Kentucky, including a Native American wielding a tomahawk and African Americans picking crops.  Some students protested last spring, so the university has decided to move mandatory classes for Spring 2020 out of the building.

There’s only one problem.  The mural is already covered.  Administrators covered it after the protests so it wouldn’t offend anyone.

This isn’t the first time the mural has caused a dust-up.

After protests over the painting in 2015, the university hired an artist to add more images of African Americans to the dome of the building, but the new additions by Karyn Olivier, a self-described black immigrant female gay artist, weren’t enough to stop the hurt feelings.

Now university officials want more dialogue with anyone willing to talk about the mural to figure out the next step.

Not everyone sees it as a reason for teeth gnashing and cloth tearing.

UK student Kiara Pryor told Campus Reform that she understands why this is an important topic, but sees it differently.

She said:

“The mural only shows us how far we have come as African Americans and being half African American, I can respect and relate to that.  Especially at a major university, I think that we should see works of art like the mural, or Robert E. Lee statues and be able to reflect and have a dialogue instead of throwing a tantrum about it.”

There are voices of reason on campus, just not in the administration buildings.



  1. I am absolutely fed up with these self-appointed sifters of our history. History, so abused and censored is no longer history, but fantasy and fiction. For my part these perpetual chip-on-the-shoulder types can move to another country having a more satisfying history for their entertainment.

  2. Why do colleges, government unit and others cater to the minority when there are some that are “offended”? Majority should be the consideration. No matter what the subject, the Majority should rule. No matter what the subject, there will ALWAYS be those who disagree, but those should not be the rulers

  3. Explain to these little brats that this is what you should have learned in history class about what took place in our country, sorry if it hurts your feelings but it’s the facts of life, so grow up and live with it, you have no better place to live on this earth.

  4. History IS history. You cannot change it. The mural is a look into the past and the injustices that occurred. Be responsible and change those inequities for the future.

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