Great Wall of L. A. 1950: Olympic Champions Breaking the Barriers

Great Wall of L. A. 1950: Olympic Champions Breaking the Barriers

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Original drawing for freeway mural at 3rd and 110 freeways Wilma Rudolph (left); Billy Mills (center).

In this final segment, an image of William Mervin "Billy" Mills, a Lakota Oglala marathon runner, prevailed over his suppression at boarding schools to become an important symbol of Native American pride. In 1964 he became the first American to win gold in the 10,000 meters and remains the only American to do so.

The last symbolic runner carries the Olympic torch into the Cilvil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

  • This is a giclée of an original coloration used for determining the colors for the Great Wall of LA. It was used by the youth and artists in the LA River when painting the Great Wall over five summers from the late 1970s to early 1980s. 
  • Artist: Judith F. Baca
  • Original Coloration Completed: 1983
  • Paper Size: 21.5" W x 12.25" H Image Size: 18" W x 6.75" H