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‘Faith Hero’ Mary McLeod Bethune Becomes First Black American Honored in U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall

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A Florida champion of civil and women’s rights took the spotlight Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol National Statuary Hall with the unveiling of a marble statue of Central Florida icon Mary McLeod Bethune — the founder of Bethune-Cookman University.

McLeod Bethune’s statue is one of two statues that will depict the Black educator, civil rights activist and suffragette. The other statue is made of bronze and will be unveiled in August at Bethune Plaza in Riverfront Esplanade Park in Daytona Beach.

Her Washington statue replaces a statue of Confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith in the U.S. Capitol, one of two statues allotted each state in the hall.

“Today we are rewriting the history we want to share with our future generations. We are replacing a remnant of hatred and division with a symbol of hope and inspiration,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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