‘Man gives awards, God gives rewards’: An artist’s tribute to football greats
Famed artist CJ Latimore and NFL Hall of Famer Larry Little holding Latimore’s commemorative plaque featuring HBCU players who played in Super Bowls.
By Lawrence Knight
Artist Carl Latimore is a man of faith and has never forgotten those who have helped him along the way.
In the mid-1970’s, a young aspiring artist, Latimore was hired by then Miami Dolphin’s football great Larry Little to paint a legacy portrait. It was Latimore’s first commissioned portrait and to this day still hangs in the living room of Little’s South Miami home.
The portrait of Little helped catapult Latimore into a successful artist career that continues to this day.
Latimore now resides in Long Beach, Calif.; but is in town overseeing the building of a three-part mural called The Liberty City Family Album, which pays tribute to Liberty City pioneers, residents and the Liberty City Square Housing Project. The mural will be built at the Seventh Avenue Transit Building, on 6100 Ave.
During his time in Miami, Latimore had planned to visit with Little to present him with a special plaque he designed himself that paid tribute to all the National Football Leagues (NFL) greats who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
Latimore awarded some of the custom made plaques to Hall of Fame players during this year’s Super Bowl special events, however Little wasn’t in attendance.
Latimore later reached out to Little via phone to let him know that he wanted to present him with a special designed award at his South Miami home.
“When he called me I wondered who was calling me from Long Beach. The only person I know in Long Beach is my former teammate, Marlin Brisco, and that wasn’t his number,” said Little.
Latimore was so happy to be able to present Little with the award at his home, because it was Little’s portrait back in the 1970’s that gave Latimore the idea to portray individual legacy through art. Latimore, a God loving man, sees Little’s portrait as divine revelation in his own life.
The tribute pieces were com-missioned by attorney Everett Glenn, who got permission from the NFL and the Super Bowl to do them.
“Once I got the go-ahead, I spent over 100 hours research-ng each player and the team he played for, even down to the uniforms they wore. So many things have changed over the years,” Latimore said.
Latimore continued, “When we are ready God will reveal our purpose to us, so we must have faith, work hard and be prepared for when that time comes.”