Statue Of Civil Rights Icon Daisy Bates Replaces That Of Lesser-Known White Man At U.S. Capitol

by Gee NY

Arkansas is paying homage to civil rights pioneer Daisy Gatson Bates this week with the unveiling of her statue at the U.S. Capitol, replacing that of a lesser-known historical figure from the state.

Bates, renowned for her pivotal role in the integration of Central High School in 1957 and her leadership in the Arkansas NAACP, is immortalized in a nearly 8-foot bronze sculpture.

The artwork portrays Bates with a folded newspaper in one hand, a notebook and pen in the other, and adorned with an NAACP pin and rose on her lapel.

Renowned artist Benjamin Victor was tasked with bringing Bates’ likeness to life.

“I hope it really first and foremost inspires them to study Daisy Bates’ life and legacy,” said Victor.

Bates’ legacy is already celebrated in Little Rock, where a street bears her name and Daisy Bates Day is observed annually.

Her statue will join that of musician Johnny Cash, replacing statues of 18th-century governor and U.S. senator James P. Clarke and 19th-century attorney Uriah Rose.

The decision to replace Clarke’s statue came amid scrutiny over his racist remarks, prompting bipartisan support for Bates’ representation in the National Statuary Hall Collection.

Republican Sen. Bart Hester and Sen. David Wallace led the initiative, citing Bates and Cash as symbols of Arkansas’ diverse populace.

The unveiling ceremony is scheduled for May 8, 2024, in Washington, D.C., making Bates the 13th woman to be honored in the Capitol’s collection.

A local viewing event will also be held at Second Baptist Church, offering the community an opportunity to reflect on Bates’ profound impact and witness the unveiling ceremony live.

Related Posts

Crown App