Remembering a Forgotten Hero

Coming soon to South Philadelphia, Remembering a Forgotten Hero is the first mural to honor Octavius Catto.

Remembering a Forgotten Hero, mural design (not final) by Willis "Nomo" Humphrey and Keir Johnston.

Artists and partners at the Octavius Catto mural design unveiling. Photo by Steve Weinik.

About the Project 

The history of Philadelphia is written all over the city, in sculptures and street names and, of course, murals—but not all history is in the public eye, even when it should be. Artists Willis Humphrey and Keir Johnston are collaborating on a new mural on Universal Charter School in South Philadelphia, celebrating early civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto in the neighborhood where he lived. An educator, athlete, and activist, Catto was assassinated on South Street in 1871 after pushing for voting rights for black citizens. Remembering a Forgotten Hero is the first mural to honor Catto. The artists will engage local students and members of the Restorative Justice Guild in learning about Catto’s life and struggles, designing a mural that will elevate and reflect on the complexity of our history.


Hummingbird Foundation
The City of Philadelphia


Universal Charter School
The School District of Philadelphia
The City of Philadelphia