Pioneering Black educator’s statue to replace Confederate statue at the Capitol

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By Kynala Phillips, NBC News

The statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, a civil rights activist born to former slaves, will represent Florida in the National Statuary Hall Collection, starting in 2022.

American educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune in front of the U.S. Capitol, circa 1950. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Civil rights activist and Bethune-Cookman University founder Mary McLeod Bethune will soon make history again. 

She will be the first Black person to represent a state in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The renowned educator’s Florida-commissioned statue will be placed permanently in the Capitol in February 2022, replacing the statue of a confederate general.

Standing at 11 feet tall and weighing in at 6,000 pounds, the statue shows Bethune in a cap and gown to signify her dedication to education. It also features a stack of her own books piled next to her. A smaller bronze version will also be placed in Riverfront Park near Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard.

The statue was created by Nilda Comas, a decorated sculptor who splits her time between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Pietrasanta, Italy. She will be the first Latina sculptor with a piece in the Capitol’s collection, according to NPR.

Read the full article here.

Learn more about confederate statue removal in the United States here and here.

More Breaking News here.

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