A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. will be placed on the same property in Atlanta where two statues of Confederate officials stand, according to NPR.
The new statue of the civil rights leader is expected to be unveiled today, the 53rd anniversary of his famous “I have a dream” speech.
In the state capitol, it will stand on the opposite of a statue of John Brown Gordon, who was a Confederate general and reportedly a leader of the Klu Klux Klan, NPR reported. It will also be near a statue of former Sen. Richard Russell, who was a strong opponent of civil rights legislation.
“The King statue will inspire and give hope to generations to come,” Georgia state Rep. Calvin Smyre (D), who is also a member of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, told the radio network.
“The day the statue memorializing [King] is unveiled will be a great day in the history of our state and nation,” Smyre said.
Although the decision to add the statue was made “well before” deadly violence at the white supremacist rally earlier this month in Charlottesville, Va. according to NPR, the unveiling comes after heightened scrutiny of Confederate statues nationwide.
“I think that this will be a symbol that the state of Georgia is in the business of erecting monuments to deserving individuals rather than focusing its attention on taking down monuments of the past,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) told NPR.
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