1970s-1980s: The Anti-Graffiti Network

Mayor Wilson Goode started the Anti-Graffiti Network in 1984 as a way to combat Philadelphia graffiti and create jobs for the urban youth. He hired Jane Golden to work with the city's graffiti writers and artists to transform the graffiti-covered walls into murals that reflected the history and aspirations of specific neighborhoods. Shortly after Goode started the Anti-Graffiti Network, he contacted McCray, knowing that if anyone could inspire the youth to give up the spray can, it was Cornbread. The program started McCray’s career as a youth mentor and community activist, but it was a rough journey to get there. He relished his job, cleaning up the streets, and talking with the North Philadelphia youth, but he clashed with the network’s director, Tim Spencer. McCray struggled with addiction, causing him to lose the confidence and daring that had made him a legend in the first place.

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