Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman To Receive Statues In Maryland State House
However, some lawmakers are speaking up with some concerns about the architects and artists involved.
In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted to begin construction on statues honoring revered pioneers in Black history, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. The Baltimore Sun writes that both monuments will be placed in the Old House of Delegates Chamber.
While this is terrific news all around, many House members are condemning the process behind erecting these shrines. Per The Philadelphia Tribune, some delegates aren't too thrilled that a Black-owned business won't be tasked with design and construction responsibilities. Instead, Maryland officials have awarded Sterling, Virginia's The Christman Company with the lucrative $575,000 job.
"If the state of Maryland is going to honor Ms. Tubman and Mr. Douglass, we need to do it the right way," Delegate R. Julian Ivey (D- 47A, Prince George's County) argued.
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Many are also upset about the business not being local to Maryland and questioned why The Department of General Services couldn't give a company in The Old Line State with the honors of completing the project.
"Couldn’t we find a very talented sculptor right here in Maryland?" Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot, one of the three voters on the Maryland Board of Public Works who approved the piece, asked.
In spite of the aforementioned, lawmakers remain nonetheless pleased that the two fearless leaders who escaped slavery to later free hundreds of servants and become revolutionaries will finally be recognized in their home state.
"The Maryland State House tells the story of our state and our country," House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch (D-District 30A, Anne Arundel County) said in a statement. "But there has been a critical component missing inside the walls of the State House: the important contributions of African-Americans to that story. These statues will fill that missing gap and I'm pleased to see this project moving forward."
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