Yemi L. Kings, Esq. commissioned a civil rights mural outside his office building that was dedicated on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 and located at 2703 MLK Drive in the historic Georgetown community.
Visual artist Chris Windfield (Drawn Up Films, LLC) captured some of the civil rights legacy of Jackson with a colorful display of three prominent figures that propelled the movement in Mississippi’s capital city. The mural featured portraits of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Wiley Evers, and Rev. R.L.T. Smith, who is known as the architect and foot soldier in the Georgetown community – he worked tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to lay the groundwork at the street level, facilitating the outward work of prominent figures who led marches, boycotts, and organized protests locally.
Rev. Royce Smith led the mural dedication event with a prayer and verbalized his appreciation for his nephew Yemi’s foresight to make public the contributions of his father Rev. R.L.T. Smith.
Attorney Yemi Kings is the grandson of R.L.T. Smith; Smith is also the grandfather of the late Robert Shuler Smith who served as Hinds County District Attorney prior to his untimely death in September 2021. “I wanted to return to the Georgetown community to outwardly display my family legacy in a visual manner that would remind me and everyday people of the contributions my grandfather Rev. R.L.T. Smith made to the Civil Rights Movement that I am now the benefactor,” said the 37-year-old counselor-at-law.
Kings added,“So often the history books highlight the outward figures of the movement but never make known the behind-the-scenes efforts of ordinary everyday people who laid the foundation for the symbolic and iconic leaders to do their work. The media doesn’t display and our children don’t learn of people like R.L.T. Smith or pastors, Sunday school teachers, and prayer warriors in the neighborhood churches and on the streets. They provided food, shelter, and protection for civil rights protesters of national and international stature who walked the streets in communities like Georgetown back in the day. R.L.T. Smith often held strategizing meetings in his home with Medgar and Dr. King to work out the logistics of protests. This mural will serve as a visual reminder to some and hopefully as a point of curious inquiry for young people who need to know their history.”
During the ceremonial dedication of the mural, City Councilman Kenneth I. Stokes remarked, “I was proud of Attorney Kings for upholding the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, and R.L.T. Smith visually. That lets people see history in their own community projected in an artistic format. Young people can relate to that. It’s not on the internet, but it’s down the street from their homes in their community. Older people in the community know this civil rights history but so many of our young people have no idea that soldiers/strategists like R.L.T. Smith existed and that his work in the streets made it possible for Dr. King and Medgar Evers to do their work in Jackson which yielded the rights and privileges in society that many take for granted.”
Rev. R.L.T. Smith was the first Black man to run for Congress after Reconstruction, and he successfully sued WLBT, winning the right for Black political candidates to be able to have their campaign advertisements run on TV.
On a personal note, Yemi L. Kings is a graduate of the famed Lanier High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tougaloo College and obtained his law school degree at Texas Southern University. At present, Kings serves as a Deputy Hinds County Prosecutor. He is a member of Word & Worship Church.
The event was catered by Zoe’s Restaurant which included a pasta bar of delicious Cajun/Creole cuisine that was enjoyed by all attendees.
The office of Yemi Kings & Associates, LLC is located at 2703 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in the Georgetown community. Visit www.kingslawllc.com for additional information and services and/or call 601-831-6117 for services regarding car accidents, family law, divorce, wills, and criminal defense.