A Confederate monument in Dekalb, Georgia, will be replaced with a monument honoring the late civil rights leader Representative John Lewis.
The monument on the Historic DeKalb County Courthouse’s grounds was removed last January, a period where both local governments and protesters also removed numerous other statues. County commissioners approved the resolution to install the Lewis memorial on January 26th.
John Lewis was a champion of what he called ‘Good Trouble’ when fighting for equality. Lewis was proud of his numerous mugshots resulting from his multiple arrests that resulted from his fights for civil rights.
Martin Luther King Jr. also counted Lewis as one of his closest confidants; Lewis introduced King at the March on Washington where he delivered the “I Have A Dream” speech.
Although it remains unclear what the proposed monument will look like, it was suggested that the memorial depict Lewis in his youth. Representatives of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights said:
“It is our hope that because our youth played such an essential role in the removal of the [Confederate] monument, that a statue of the young John Lewis during his [younger] years will be erected in the Decatur square. This will be a reminder of how many young people have been a catalyst for change in the world. Where a monument once stood to intimidate and disenfranchise Black voters, soon will stand a statue of an American hero who gave his life to building the movement that ensures Black people have the right to vote.”
As discussions of how the late Civil Rights leader will be depicted in Georgia are underway, a separate proposal in the state legislature that would add a statue of Lewis to the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall has secured bipartisan support.