DC looks to add more statues of women, people of color

- A new plan being put together by District leaders is looking to add more statues of women and people of color to the city.

D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie of Ward 5 is proposing a bill that would honor eight people with a statue – one for each of the city’s eight wards.

McDuffie said the plan will build statues for women and people of color who were born in the District. Currently, D.C. only has one such statue that meets that requirement: Duke Ellington.

“Because I’m an historian, I understand why most of our statues are white men on horses looking heroic. That’s what we did. That’s the old school history,” Jane Levey with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. said. “We do often hear from people who want to see more women, want to see people of color represented.”

McDuffie said he believes some worthy candidates for a statue on the proposal include Sterling Brown, Euphemia Lofton Haynes, Charles Drew, Edward Brooke, Robert C. Weaver and Shirley Horn.

Some residents FOX 5 talked to said narrowing the candidates to only native Washingtonians would be too limiting. Under the terms, people well known locally in D.C. such as Marion Barry, Dorothy Height and even Frederick Douglass would be excluded because they weren't born in the District.

McDuffie said he wants to hear from the public about the proposal and would consider adjusting the qualifications to a woman or person of color who made a great impact on DC but wasn’t born in the District.

Experts told FOX 5 the cost for the proposal wouldn’t come cheap, but so far no cost analysis has been developed to determine how much it would ultimately cost taxpayers.

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