statuary hall

Mary McLeod Bethune in front of White Hall at Bethune-Cookman University.
public domain via Florida Memory

The Florida Legislature is poised to make good on a 2016 decision to replace one of its entries in Washington D.C.’s statuary hall.  Mary McLeod Bethune seems likely to get the nod.

Mary McLeod Bethune
Florida Memory / https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/152989

After a hiccup last year in the Florida House, state lawmakers seem poised to send a statue of civil rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune to Washington D.C.  

National Statuary Hall.
US Capitol via Wikimedia Commons

A state board has narrowed the field to three in a bid to replace a statue of confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith in Washington D.C.  The state Legislature will now choose among a grocer, an environmentalist, and an educator.

One of three finalists will be chosen to replace Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith.
Architect of the Capitol

The Great Floridians committee is recommending an educator, an environmentalist, or a grocer to represent the state in Washington D.C.’s Statuary Hall. 

Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
U.S. Capitol via Wikimedia Commons

House lawmakers unanimously approved a measure aimed at replacing a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in Washington D.C.’s Statuary Hall.  But there’s a long way to go.

Florida's statue of Edmund Kirby Smith in Washington D.C.
U.S. Capitol via Wikimedia Commons

In June this year nine black men and women were shot and killed at a South Carolina church.  As details about the incident and the alleged shooter emerged, it became clear the suspect—Dylann Roof—was motivated by racial hatred.  It’s likely no consolation to the victims’ families or the Charleston community, but the shock of those murders prompted many throughout the south to reassess their relationship with the Confederacy.  Now, a South Florida Republican lawmaker is questioning one of Florida’s entries in Washington D.C.’s Statuary Hall—Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith.