Lewis Dominis

Lewis Dominis, 1908

Lewis Dominis was born 5 July 1888 to Rebecca Dora Brooks and William Dominis. He graduated from the Worcester Public School system and went off to Boston to attend college. A gifted artist and musician, he graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art (now MassArt) and secured a position as Supervisor of Art in the Massachusetts school system. A job offer from Clark Atlanta University in Georgia brought him to the south where he met and married Henrietta Gantz. Henrietta and Lewis eventually moved to Florida. Henrietta taught home economics in Black school systems while Lewis taught music in public schools and art at various colleges.

Lewis was a painter. His murals graced the walls at Black churches throughout St Petersburg in Florida as well as a movie theater turned church in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. He also painted portraits and canvases including the one below.

According to his 1977 obituary, Professor Lewis was instrumental to starting the first Black band in a Pinellas County high school, He also started a Boy Scouts drum corp and served as a Scout Master. He was an accomplished musician and played the marimba and xylophone. Henrietta passed away in 1971 and Lewis continued his legacy of teaching an sharing his musical and artistic gifts with others. Lewis dies on 21 April 1977 in Pinellas and was buried with his wife in St Petersburg.

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