Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune to become first African-American in Statuary Hall


The cover picture is from the first "Freshman" college in 2006 as students took their place in front of the iconic Dr. Bethune statue at the campus

Dr. Mary McLeod-Bethune’s legacy is historic.  The school she founded in Daytona Beach, FL is a proud HBCU (Historically Black College and University) campus.

Dr. Bethune will be the first African-American to have her statue in Statuary Hall which is located in the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.  Perhaps aided by the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement during last year’s worldwide reaction, Dr. Bethune’s statue will replace Confederate General Kirby Smith.

Interestingly the statue will be sculpted by Italian Master sculptor Nilda Comas. While her selection was already sealed, it brings some consternation among African-American sculptors who for years have developed an impressive tradition in preparing works of art.  Similar to the Dr. Martin Luther King memorial which was produced by a Chinese sculptor, once again they may feel shut out of lending their talents to such revered figures.

Nevertheless, this represents a great testament to the respect Dr. McLeod-Bethune garnered during her life’s work.

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editorial note: Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) has a great history particularly in Daytona Beach. The campus is two miles from the Atlantic seashore. More importantly it is located approximately one mile from Jackie Robinson stadium, which is where Robinson played as part of his brief minor league stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The venue is now part of the Chicago Cubs organization. For those who watched 42 featuring Chadwick Bosman, many scenes from Robinson’s time in Daytona Beach were near the campus. Our youngest son, Fred IV was a graduate of BCU.