Mary McLeod Bethune Honored With New Statue Unveiled At U.S. Capitol
The founder of the National Council of Negro Women and Bethune-Cookman College replaced a century-old sculpture of a confederate general.
A new representation of American history has been unveiled in the U.S. Capitol, which also represents a significant part of Black history as well.
Earlier this week, the capitol’s National Statuary Hall unveiled a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, becoming the first to represent a Black person in the state collection within Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
Today, we witnessed history in the U.S. Capitol. After a four-year-long process, a statue of Black educator and activist Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune has officially replaced Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in Statuary Hall. pic.twitter.com/36MUNy4xkR
The founder of the National Council of Negro Women and Bethune-Cookman College, an HBCU in Daytona Beach, Fla., Bethune also served as an adviser to five U.S. presidents. Her statue replaces Confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith, which had stood as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection since 1922.
“Today we are rewriting the history we want to share with our future generations,” said Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson at the unveiling, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We are replacing a remnant of hatred and division with a symbol of hope and inspiration.”
Created by Fort Lauderdale artist Nilda Comas, the statue is 11 feet tall and made of marble. Comas has also made history as the first Hispanic artist with a statue in the national hall.
The second statue of Mary McLeod Bethune will be unveiled in August at Bethune Plaza in Daytona Beach.