LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A mural of an African American teacher is coming to life in downtown Louisville.

A portrait of Henrietta Helm being painted on the side of the former Republic Building on West Muhammad Ali Boulevard. She was born in 1865, which marked the end of the Civil War and the last year of legal slavery in America.

Helm was among the first Black students to attend public school in Louisville and passed her exams at 17 to become a teacher. She later became principal of the Portland Colored Evening School. Her mission was to make sure that working Black children and adults 14 years old and older could get an education.

The work by Darius Dennis and Jared Diaz was commissioned by the Portland Museum and philanthropist Christy Lee Brown.

The mural is meant to be a new kind of monument that recognizes a remarkable individual as representative of many others. Helm is a tribute to Black women educators - living, deceased, and those yet to come - and their daily work that lifts up lives and determines the future of Louisville.

A scholarship is also being started by the artists and the Portland Museum for residents of the Portland neighborhood to become educators.

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