MiamiHerald / As ordered by Gov. Rick Scott, a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded a school that would eventually become historically black Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, will now represent Florida at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. That’s welcome news.
Bethune’s statue will be the first African-American woman in Statuary Hall. In the year of the woman, that’s a good move. Better yet, Bethune’s arrival means the removal of the statue of St. Augustine native Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. Another sign of the times.
The campaign in Tallahassee to replace Kirby Smith began with last year’s white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, which placed under a harsh spotlight all Confederate memorials in southern U.S. states and re-opened the old, divisive wounds of race, racism and even slavery.