Photo credit: Dan Cepeda
The Rev. James Reeb Memorial Mural was the vision and passion project of The Table, brought to life at 225 S. David Street, along the East facing wall of the property, in 2020. It has sparked the creation of the Casper Mural Project, which aims to paint downtown in the vibrant colors of Casper’s most important stories.
“We are going to have to take upon ourselves a continuing and disciplined effort with no real hope
that in our lifetime we are going to be able to take a vacation from
the struggle for justice.”
- Rev. James Reeb, final sermon at All Souls UU in DC, 1964.
This mural was created with the purpose to inspire empathy and compassion as the greatest human power, sparked by the legacy of our hometown everyday hero, Rev. James Reeb.
We anticipate this mural will spark many more conversations.
Casper native Rev. James Reeb was murdered by segregationists is Selma, AL in 1965. He had responded to the call of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for allies to join civil rights workers in marching from Selma to Montgomery.
What lessons from the life and death of Rev. James Reeb in Selma, AL in 1965 apply to Wyomingites in 2020?
Then, as now, racial discrimination in America was a source of divisions with life or death consequences. Rev. Reeb was deeply shaped by his adolescence in Casper, WY and had a special connection to this landscape, choosing to have his ashes spread in the Shirley Basin. Wyoming’s own history of division between races and ethnic identities is as much a part of our daily lives as our plains and mountains.
Rev. Reeb’s life and legacy is one of compassion. Instead of seeing his fellow citizens who may have had different backgrounds or identities from his own as “other” Rev. Reeb sought to understand each person as a human being like himself--with needs, loves and dreams. It was this spirit of curiosity that lent him a greater capacity for seeking justice for self and all those around him. He understood the depth to which Dr. King’s civil rights leadership and work sought lasting peace. As Dr. King wrote,
‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
‘True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.’
Visit the Rev. James Reeb Memorial Mural today. Bring along a friend and ask each other:
What is carried in your wake? How will you spark compassion & empathy among your Wyoming neighbors?
Listen to NPR’s “WhiteLies Podcast” for an intensive history behind the story of Reeb’s murder, trial and aftermath.