Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and City of Atlanta elected officials gathered at the Hamilton E. Holmes Station to dedicate a mural to the late Dr. Holmes, who was one of the first two Black students to integrate the University of Georgia.

Holmes went on to become the first Black person to be accepted to and graduate from Emory University School of Medicine.

The mural, painted in 2018 by artist Dr. Fahamu Pecou, depicts Holmes reading with two young students and a quote from Holmes about the importance of education.

“As a physician and medical director at Grady hospital he was able to positively impact thousands of patients over the years,” Hamilton E. Holmes Jr. reflected at the mural dedication.

Holmes’ widow Marilyn Holmes accepted a plaque of the mural on behalf of her husband from MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker.

District 6 Commissioner for Fulton County Khadijah Abdur-Rahman and City Councilwoman Andrea Boone spoke about the impact Holmes had on Atlanta throughout his life.

Abdur-Rahman said that Dr. Holmes played a major role in the lives of many of Atlanta’s iconic figures like Maynard Jackson, Emma Darnell and John Lewis

“He passed away 25 years ago but his legacy still continues on today throughout the state of Georgia,” said Holmes Jr.

Councilwoman Boone, whose father was a friend of Holmes, praised the mural for being a lesson for visitors and newcomers to Atlanta in the legacy of Dr. Holmes.

“This mural is a reminder of what can happen when you mix fierce determination and courage,” Boone said.

Below the mural, MARTA installed a timeline of Holmes’ life from his childhood in Atlanta to desegregating UGA and then Emory Medical School. He then served in the Army overseas before returning to become a professor at Emory and an orthopedic surgeon at Grady Hospital.

Holmes passed away in 1995. Two years later in 1997, MARTA announced that the station would be renamed in his honor.


(Marilyn Holmes accepts plaque from MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Madeline Thigpen)
(Marilyn Holmes accepts plaque from MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Madeline Thigpen)
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Madeline Thigpen is an education reporter and Report for America Corps Member. She joined the Atlanta Voice in 2021. At the Voice she covers K-12 education for the Atlanta metro region and higher education....