On the 100th anniversary of her birth, the City of Newport News is unveiling a mural in honor of Newport News native and world renown entertainer Pearl Bailey. The mural is being installed on the Pearl Bailey Library at 2510 Wickham Avenue and will be unveiled in a ceremony at the library at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 29.
Born in Newport News, Virginia on March 29, 1918, to Rev. Joseph and Ella Mae Bailey, Pearl was sister to the famed dancer Bill Bailey. From an early age Pearl sang, performed, entertained and captivated her audiences throughout the world. An all-around entertainer with great success on Television, Film and the Broadway Stage, Pearl was a Tony and Emmy Award winning entertainer who often used her celebrity for good causes. With humor, compassion and a strong faith Pearl Bailey penned six books. She was the United States Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations and worked tirelessly on behalf of literacy and AIDS prevention/ awareness. In 1988 the City of Newport News named its Wickham Avenue Library in her honor. Pearl Bailey passed away unexpectedly on August 17, 1990.
Mr. Asa Jackson, who grew up in Newport News’ Southeast Community, created this latest mural. He also designed the Ella Fitzgerald mural which adorns the Jefferson Brookville Apartment building located at Jefferson Avenue & 26th Street as well as the W. Hale Thompson mural at 611 25th Street, which was unveiled last month.
We hope to see you there!