The first sto­ry in our #see­my­set sto­ry series is a video essay about John Perkins, reflect­ing on a mur­al of his like­ness paint­ed on the back of down­town Som­er­set’s his­toric Vir­ginia The­atre.

As a young man, Perkins often vis­it­ed the old Vir­ginia The­atre, a venue where black patrons were required to sit in the bal­cony and there was no indoor restroom for their use. When asked about the sig­nif­i­cance of the mur­al paint­ed on the theater’s back wall, he says he stands on the shoul­ders of oth­ers who made his life eas­i­er, and sim­ply looks for­ward. To the post office across the street. The place where he built his future as a post­mas­ter and own­er of a suc­cess­ful bar­be­cue enter­prise.

Read more about the mural’s cre­ation here, and watch the video above to learn more about Perkins, lov­ing­ly known in the com­mu­ni­ty as John­ny B.

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