“Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
He called the removal of the Lee statue “one of my proudest days” and praised Richmond officials for transforming the former capital of the Confederacy into a progressive and inclusive city.
“Jy weet, we talk often about the need to make sure that we tell and teach the full and true story of our shared history, how we must ensure that everyone understands where we have been so we can build a more inclusive future together,” Northam gesê.
That includes teaching about the “horrors of slavery and the terrors of the Jim Crow era,” hy het gesê.
“But in this monument, we see a different part of the story,” Northam gesê. “These figures embody the power, the power of emancipation and the power of freedom.”
The monument was designed by Oregon sculptor Thomas Jay Warren, the commission’s website said.
The names of 10 Black Virginians are featured at the base of the monument — five who fought to end slavery before emancipation and five who fought for equality between 1865 en 1970.
The list includes Mary Elizabeth Bowser
, who served as a Union spy in the Confederate White House
, William Harvey Carney
, a former slave who became the first Black Medal of Honor recipient
, John Mercer Langston
, Virginia’s first Black member of Congress and prominent educator Lucy Simms