Martin Luther King isn’t the first African American to be immortalized with his own monument. There are several memorials across the country paying tribute to African American leaders, artists, and academics.
Check out our list of the Top 10 monuments to African Americans. We positioned them in the order we think
Is there anyone you think is missing?
In the meantime, check out our MLK Memorial coverage
10. Tupac Shakur — Atlanta, Georgia
A statue for murdered rap star Tupac Shakur is located in Atlanta, Georgia outside the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center For The Arts. The statue was dedicated in 2005.
It was designed by sculptor Tina Allen and features Tupac holding a book of his own poetry.
Read more on Tupac Shakur here
9. Medgar Evers — Jackson, MS
A statue for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers is standing in his adopted home of Jackson, Mississippi, outside of the University of Ole Miss, a school he helped integrate.
The statue was erected in 1992 by sculptor, Jay Warren.
8. W.E.B. Dubois — Nashville, Tennessee.
There is a statue dedicated to Black scholar and activist W.E.B. DuBois at his alma-mater, the historically Black college, Fisk University.
The statue features DuBois with a stack of papers, representing his dedication to academics.
Read more on W.E.B. Dubois here
7. Harriet Tubman — Harlem, NY
A 10-foot statue of legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman is in the center of Harlem, New York City on Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
It was created by Alison Saar and is entitled “Swing Low” after the African American slavery spiritual.
Read more on Harriet Tubman here
6. Crispus Attucks — Boston, MA
In the Boston Commons’, a monument commemorates the events of March 5, 1770, when British soldiers, later to be successfully defended by John Adams, shot down five Bostonians. Crispus Attucks is the best known of these five. He is widely hailed as a hero of the American Revolution, although little information about him can be verified. According to some reports, Attucks was of African and Native American descent and had fled to Boston after escaping his enslavers. Attucks’ grave is located in the nearby Granary Burying Ground.
At the column’s base, a bronze plaque illustrates the infamous event. Its two central figures are sculpted in high relief, meaning that parts of the figures are three-dimensional and jut out significantly from the background. You may notice that one figure’s hand is shinier than the surrounding bronze. It has been polished by visitors reaching out to touch it.
Read more on Crispus Attucks here
5. George Washington Carver — Newton County, MO
A life-size bronze of George Washington Carver by acclaimed African-American sculptor Tina Allen of California stands inside the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The six-foot statue shows a mature Carver of about 65 years old, wearing a lab jacket and a wise, gentle expression as he stands holding a small plant to the sunlight.
Read more on George Washington Carver here
4. Joe Louis — Detroit, MI
Joe Louis Barrow, aka “The Brown Bomber” is one of the all-time great boxers. The 24 x 24 x 11.5 feet Monument to Joe Louis was commissioned by Time Inc. for the City of Detroit to honor Joe Louis. It was created by sculptor Robert Graham and installed at Jefferson Avenue at Woodward, Detroit on October 16, 1986.
3. Adam Clayton Powell — Harlem, NY
This figure of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who represented Harlem in Congress from 1945 to 1970, strides dramatically up an incline in the forlornly windswept plaza that fronts the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem.
The statue of Powell is 12 feet high and made of bronze. It sits on a cylindrical pedestal made of stainless steel and black granite. All told, the monument is 21 feet tall. In his right hand, Powell has a copy of the Congressional Record; one could be forgiven for assuming that Powell was looking for a place to chuck that thing. Powell is depicted, like I said, moving uphill, no doubt a bit of symbolism that could serve for any black person so memorialized in New York — or for anyone who endeavors to get such a memorial built.
The piece was sculpted by Branly Cadet, a New York native. It’s named “Higher Ground.”
Read more on Adam Clayton Powell Jr., here
2. Malcolm X — Harlem, NY
There is a statue for Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan where he was killed in in 1965.
After Columbia University bought the ballroom, African American activists and Columbia students protested, resulting in the memorial.
1. Martin Luther King Memorial — Washington, D.C.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., southwest of the National Mall. The Memorial is located at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, on a sightline linking the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast. The official address of the monument, 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W., commemorates of the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law.
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