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Mary McLeod Bethune makes the long journey home to Florida with new Daytona Beach statue

Florida Photographic Collection
State Archives of Florida
Florida Photographic Collection

A new statue of Mary McLeod Bethune was unveiled Thursday in Daytona Beach, just weeks after an identical sculpture was displayed in the U.S. Capitol. 

The 13-foot-tall bronze sculpture is a replica of the marble statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the U.S. Capitol. 

It stands in Daytona Beach’s Riverfront Esplanade. 

In it, Bethune wears her cap and gown, and holds a black rose in one hand and a cane gifted to her by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the other. 

Both sculptures were crafted by Latina artist Nilda Comas.

Last month, Bethune, a lifelong civil rights activist and founder of Bethune-Cookman University, became the first African American to represent her state in Statuary Hall. 

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.