Part of West Rehoboth mural destroyed

Treated as hit-and-run; West Side leader: Juneteenth to go on
June 13, 2024

Story Location:
Central Street
Malloy Street
West Rehoboth, DE 19971
United States

Less than a week before a neighborhood-wide Juneteenth celebration, a large section of the West Rehoboth mural has been knocked down.

Located at the corner of Central and Malloy streets, up the street from the West Side Creative Market, the mural is a visual representation of the community’s history and was a collaborative project between West Side New Beginnings Children and Youth Program and the Developing Artist Collaboration. It was dedicated in June 2022.

It was the Central Street section of the mural that was hit in the early morning hours of June 13. The section featured a picture of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, a picture of Crows Nest beach in Rehoboth Beach, a portrait of West Rehoboth advocate Minnie Burton with West Side New Beginnings founder Brenda Milbourne, and a picture of a few children enjoying themselves.

Milbourne said she was on the scene a short time later.

“I was angry at first, but I’m doing better now,” Milbourne said a few hours after the initial shock had worn off. “The investigation is still ongoing, but we are certain it wasn’t an accident. The question is, why? Ms. Minnie is a legend. They also hit my face and the children.”

Milbourne said the incident won’t stop them.

“If you know the true meaning of Juneteenth, you know we can’t stop,” said Milbourne. “We must come together as a community.”

Master Cpl. Lewis Briggs, Delaware State Police spokesperson, said the incident was reported at about 6:12 a.m. and is being treated as a hit-and-run crash. The driver fled the scene, but the vehicle was towed, he said.

Troopers are working to identify and locate the driver, said Briggs.

Leah Beach, founder of Developing Artist Collaboration, said beginning with helping clean up the mess after the investigation is complete, the collaboration will do its part to make sure the mural returns. She said she’s already spoken with mural artist Terrance Vann, a West Rehoboth native with roots reaching back multiple generations, and he’s on board.

“We’re determined to bring the mural back,” said Beach. “One thing we’ve found out today is that so many people care about this mural.”

Beach confirmed the Juneteenth Celebration will continue as scheduled, which is 4 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, June 19.


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