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Zone1 Statue of Black Educator Replaces Confederate General in U.S. Capitol

NewsVine_Mariyam

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When I was in grade school my best friend's mom gave me a book on Mary McLeod Bethune. Even though it was a success story in many aspects it was too heavy for my heart and soon to be forgotten.

Image my surprise more than a decade later to find myself viewing with my own eyes the house where she lived up the street from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida where I ended up for college. I had apparently forgotten that the school she founded initially for girls was located in Daytona.

I wanted to post this in current events because is truly an historical event but some members here cannot be civil when left to their own devices so at least it stands a chance here in Zone 1 of the Race and Racism forum.
Statue of Black Educator Replaces Confederate General in U.S. Capitol
July 13, 2022Updated 7:23 p.m. ET​
Mary McLeod Bethune on Wednesday became the first Black American to be represented with a state statue in National Statuary Hall, a central room of the United States Capitol, honored for her work championing education and civil rights.​
Bethune, whose statue replaces one of a Confederate general, became an adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and an advocate for Black Americans from the schoolhouse to the White House. The school she founded with $1.50 eventually became Bethune-Cookman University, a historically Black university in Daytona Beach, Fla.​
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who hosted the dedication ceremony, called Bethune “the pride of Florida and America,” and said it was “poetic” for her likeness to replace that of “a little-known Confederate general,” Edmund Kirby Smith, who was among the last to surrender after the end of the Civil War in 1865.​
His statue was removed in 2021. Ms. Pelosi called it “trading a traitor for a civil rights hero.”​
The House voted last year to remove statues honoring Confederate leaders and other white supremacists from display at the Capitol. That bill and others like it come amid a yearslong debate over the replacement of statues as well as names on buildings, streets and universities that memorialize racist figures. Critics say it is better to celebrate figures who contributed to the struggle for equal rights.​
There are many signs of Bethune’s legacy at the university she led for 30 years, said Lawrence M. Drake II, the interim president of Bethune-Cookman University. She practiced experiential teaching as an educator, a philosophy that pairs activities with lesson material, he said.​
“Our hearts are rejoicing today seeing our founder and namesake take her rightful place among the most distinguished Americans,” he said.​
The statue, carved in white marble from the same quarry as Michelangelo’s David, depicts Bethune in graduation regalia and a cap with books. She is holding a black rose, which she once described as a symbol of acceptance of students’ individuality. In her other hand, she holds a cane that was given to her by Roosevelt.​
The inscription is one of her best-known quotes: “Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it may be a diamond in the rough.”​
The artist, Nilda Comas, is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is the first Hispanic sculptor to create a piece for the National Statuary Hall. Each state sends two statues of prominent citizens to represent it in Statuary Hall, an ornate, amphitheater-style room just off the House floor, or elsewhere in the Capitol.​
“We can’t change history, but we can certainly make it clear that which we honor and that which we do not honor,” Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, said last year. “Symbols of hate and division have no place in the halls of Congress.”​
A Senate version of the bill to remove Confederate statues from public display at the Capitol was introduced last year by Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, but it has not advanced.​
Statues can be replaced only with the approval of a state Legislature and governor. Senator Rick Scott, a Republican and a former governor of Florida, started the process of commemorating Bethune.​
Representative Val Demings, Democrat of Florida, said at the ceremony that her parents taught her about Bethune’s legacy of public service. Ms. Demings, who was given an honorary doctorate from Bethune-Cookman University, said she still looked up to her.​
“Her labor of love could not be contained in her years on this earth,” Ms. Demings said. “Her contributions will touch generations yet unborn. She was bold, courageous. And although her journey had its triumphs and its struggles, Dr. Mary Bethune never wavered.”​
Born in 1875 in South Carolina, Bethune was a daughter of formerly enslaved people and “became one of the most important Black educators, civil and women’s rights leaders and government officials of the twentieth century,” according to the National Women’s History Museum.​
She and her husband, Albertus Bethune, eventually moved with their son to Palatka, in northeastern Florida. After her marriage ended, Bethune opened a boarding school in 1904 with $1.50 and an enrollment of just five students. The school became Bethune-Cookman College by 1931 and, in 2007, Bethune-Cookman University.​
She founded organizations that advocated for expanding voter registration and granting women the right to vote, and worked with the N.A.A.C.P. and the United Nations to end discrimination and lynching.​
In 1936, Roosevelt named Bethune the point person for Black youth at the National Youth Administration, a New Deal agency focused on employment for young people, making her the highest-ranking Black woman in government. She was also a leader of his unofficial “Black cabinet,” according to the National Women’s History Museum, and formed a friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt.​
Bethune worked to make Americans believe that Black lives matter, Representative Frederica S. Wilson, Democrat of Florida, said at the ceremony. As a child who started her life working in the fields, Ms. Wilson said, Bethune realized that an education was the way out — for herself and for those who came after her.​
Bethune was the youngest of 17 siblings and the first of them to learn to read.​
“Today we are rewriting the history we want to share with our future generations,” Ms. Wilson said. “We are replacing a remnant of hatred and division with a symbol of hope and inspiration.”​
Bethune wrote a “last will and testament” essay in 1954, the year before she died, about the legacy she wanted to leave for future generations. Many speakers at the ceremony referenced it.​
“If I have a legacy to leave my people, it is my philosophy of living and serving,” she wrote. “As I face tomorrow, I am content, for I think I have spent my life well. I pray now that my philosophy may be helpful to those who share my vision of a world of peace, progress, brotherhood, and love.”​

Correction:
July 13, 2022​
An earlier version of this article misstated the milestone represented by Mary McLeod Bethune’s statue. She is the first Black American to have a state statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, not the first Black American to have a statue there.​
April Rubin is a breaking news reporter and a member of the 2022-2023 New York Times fellowship class. @AprilMRubin
 

Confederate Soldier

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That general was Edmund Kirby Smith, an educator after the war who taught students mathematics at the University of South Carolina, all while cultivating a large collection of plants in his interest in Botany. He died in 1893, the last full general of the Civil War.


Pre-Civil War, Smith was an American war hero, fighting in the Mexican American war and earning battlefield commissions for his gallantry. After the Mexican American war, he taught Math at West point, before joining the Cavalry and heading out West. When war broke out in 1861, his men were ordered to surrender to the federal government, to which he refused He returned to Florida, his native State, and offered his services to fight for Florida, in the Confederacy.
 

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When I was in grade school my best friend's mom gave me a book on Mary McLeod Bethune. Even though it was a success story in many aspects it was too heavy for my heart and soon to be forgotten.

Image my surprise more than a decade later to find myself viewing with my own eyes the house where she lived up the street from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida where I ended up for college. I had apparently forgotten that the school she founded initially for girls was located in Daytona.

I wanted to post this in current events because is truly an historical event but some members here cannot be civil when left to their own devices so at least it stands a chance here in Zone 1 of the Race and Racism forum.
Statue of Black Educator Replaces Confederate General in U.S. Capitol
I am very happy to see Mary McLeod Bethune honored with a statue. She was a hard working, dedicated woman who believed in education.
Her 1954 essay is a beautiful piece of literature.
 

IM2

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Mary McCleod Bethune was a real American hero. This honor is well deserved.

Some of us need to understand that the confederacy was not America.
 

Deplorable Yankee

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When I was in grade school my best friend's mom gave me a book on Mary McLeod Bethune. Even though it was a success story in many aspects it was too heavy for my heart and soon to be forgotten.

Image my surprise more than a decade later to find myself viewing with my own eyes the house where she lived up the street from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida where I ended up for college. I had apparently forgotten that the school she founded initially for girls was located in Daytona.

I wanted to post this in current events because is truly an historical event but some members here cannot be civil when left to their own devices so at least it stands a chance here in Zone 1 of the Race and Racism forum.
Statue of Black Educator Replaces Confederate General in U.S. Capitol
It's criminal ro remove it and erase history

They could of put the other statute somewhere else
 

IM2

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IM2

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You've said some pretty stupid stuff since I've been here that by far buries everything else
The confederacy was a nation of it's own that waged war against the U.S. and lost. That IS what happened, so the confederacy is not American history. It is Confederate history therefore a statues or anything else honoring traitors need to be removed.

Apparently, you are the stupid one. But it doesn't take much intelligence to be a WS.
 

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IM2

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C_Clayton_Jones

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The confederacy was a nation of it's own that waged war against the U.S. and lost. That IS what happened, so the confederacy is not American history. It is Confederate history therefore a statues or anything else honoring traitors need to be removed.

Apparently, you are the stupid one. But it doesn't take much intelligence to be a WS.
Don’t let the racist right derail the thread with lies about the ‘confederacy.’
 

IM2

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22lcidw

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The confederacy is not American history.
A North versus South statement I am not making. If a person lives in an area, he/she does not want interference from outsiders. The inner cities are a perfect example. They do not want excessive building in their areas. Though the welcome infrastructure improvements. They fear gentrification and fight tooth and nail against that. The Civil War did not need to happen. It was believed that slavery was going to end within a decade. A reason for the war was outside interference to split the nation as to force a fiat currency onto one of the two nations resulting from the war.
 

Ms. Turquoise

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A North versus South statement I am not making. If a person lives in an area, he/she does not want interference from outsiders. The inner cities are a perfect example. They do not want excessive building in their areas. Though the welcome infrastructure improvements. They fear gentrification and fight tooth and nail against that. The Civil War did not need to happen. It was believed that slavery was going to end within a decade. A reason for the war was outside interference to split the nation as to force a fiat currency onto one of the two nations resulting from the war.
You forgot to mention SLAVERY.
 
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IM2

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You forgot to mention SLAVERY.
They always forget that part of the confederacy. They had slavery written in the confederate constitution. Slavery was not going to end in 10 years. The Corwin Amendment passed the United States congress itself and that would have been a constitutional amendment protecting slavery.
 

Canon Shooter

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The confederacy is not American history.

Of course it is.

There's an entire battlefield in Pennsylvania which proves you wrong...
 

Canon Shooter

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The confederacy was a nation of it's own that waged war against the U.S. and lost. That IS what happened, so the confederacy is not American history. It is Confederate history therefore a statues or anything else honoring traitors need to be removed.

Apparently, you are the stupid one. But it doesn't take much intelligence to be a WS.

When are you and your fellow never-slaves going to march on Gettysburg and demand that the several hundred Confederate memorials and monuments located there be removed?

That's an honest question. You would think, at the very least, you and your ilk would be targeting the Virginia Monument:

gb20.jpg


That'd be General Robert E. Lee on the horse, by the way.

Why not go after those?

Because, if you're not willing to do that, you're just whining...
 

ThomasSowellsFro

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Imagine saying that george floyd doesn't deserve a statue because he was a bad bad man, but that rapists and slave owners should tho. If it were up to me, I'd change all the dollar bills, and put a wrecking ball to rushmore.
 

IM2

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Imagine saying that george floyd doesn't deserve a statue because he was a bad bad man, but that rapists and slave owners should tho. If it were up to me, I'd change all the dollar bills, and put a wrecking ball to rushmore.
Amen my brother. Career criminals are on our currency, but they run their mouths about George Floyd.
 

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