“He was a key figure in Saginaw, and to get the opportunity to honor him makes me feel good,” Hargash told M Live. Though Hargash never met Marsh, the artist interviewed several people to better understand the late politician’s character.
“I had to really delve into who he was and talk to people and read research to kind of formulate a picture of how I wanted to represent him,” he said.
Descended from an enslaved grandfather, Marsh was born poor in Knoxville, TN. After being honorably discharged following a three-year service in the U.S. Army, Marsh graduated from Knoxville College. He later attended the University of Michigan’s law school until transferring to Wayne State University Law School to be near his wife, Ruth Eleanor Clayton. The couple had three children – Thomas, Walter, and Terésa.
This mural aims to capture Marsh in all his glory. Beyond his role as a passionate mayor, he was also a devoted family man and was defined by more than just where he came from.
“I think I was a trailblazer, and I say it without vanity. I was nationally known. Not quite like the gentleman down in Washington, but I was pretty well publicized during that period of time,” he said. “Despite the fact that my whole background was black and Southern, I had self-assurance and confidence that enabled me to take a position and say things that others would not. As essentially the only black lawyer in Saginaw, I felt I was the spokesman for the black community.”
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Source: Black Enterprise