Members of the Bethune-Cookman University campus community overwhelmingly endorse plans by Florida state lawmakers to replace a statue of a Confederate general with iconic school founder Mary McLeod Bethune in the halls of Congress. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:
TALLAHASSEE – A statue of civil rights activist and educator Mary McLeod Bethune moved closer Tuesday to replacing a likeness of a Confederate general in representing Florida in the U.S. Capitol. The House Government Accountability Committee voted 20-1, with Jacksonville Republican Jay Fant opposed, to approve a measure (HB 139) that calls for a statue of Bethune to replace Confederate Gen.
The House Government Accountability Committee passed the resolution for the replacement by a 20-1 margin, to have the likeness of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith removed from Statuary Hall in the US Capitol and replaced by the likeness of the renowned educator and philanthropist.
While opposed by some lawmakers, BCU supporters applauded the legislative move.
Dr. Clifford Porter, vice president of Institutional Advancement at B-CU, said the university community has always viewed Bethune as a symbol of unity.
“She was always able to bring folks together from all walks of life. We are very excited that others have seen value and honoring her,” Porter said.