Mural to honor the life of community leader in East Biloxi

The East Biloxi Community lost a prominent figure two weeks ago. To honor her life and legacy, a mural was painted.

Mrs. Inez Thomas ran a restaurant and lounge for more than four decades, feeding the community of East Biloxi before closing its doors in 2017.

The meals that Thomas prepared did more than just feed the stomach of residents, it fed the spirit, mind, and soul of those around her. Painter Demetrius Gayden said, “She was an icon. As far as a black woman owning a building back in the day, that’s something a lot of people not really looking at. It was more than just a burger place.”

On October 13th, Thomas passed away from dementia, but thanks to the East Biloxi Community and Painter Demetrius Gayden, a colorful mural of Thomas now sits at the corner of Main and Division Street. “I wanted to go black and gray with her pictures because like I said the mother of the hood, vintage with her face, it’s a more historical thing with the black and gray and then color, bring like a more vibe to the neighborhood.”

The mural painting is not only here to pay homage to Mrs. Inez, but it’s also here as a revitalization purpose in hopes of bringing East Biloxi back. “I want to see a lot of stores being back open.”

When Thomas was not out serving others, she served as a mother to her own five kids. Thomas’ son Frank Mallard Jr. said, “She is one of a million. She tried. She went out and beyond her way to help any and everyone.”

Mallard Jr. says although his mother is gone, she will never be forgotten. “Now we can come by and see my mom every day.”

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