Daytona Beach Bethune statue to be unveiled

After her debut in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, Mary McLeod Bethune is taking a curtain call in Daytona Beach.

A bronze statue of the educator and civil rights leader created by sculptor Nilda Comas will be unveiled in the Bethune Plaza area of Riverfront Esplanade Park in Daytona Beach. The ceremony takes place Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. in the plaza, located at the intersection of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard and Beach Street.

Comas said the bronze statue – which resembles the marble piece in the U.S. Capitol, is special in its own right.

“The bronze is going to have more texture than the marble because it will be outside and catch the light better. It’s going to be beautiful to see it outside in the park,” she said. “It’s a whole different process and also it will look different. They are both unique in their own ways.”

Bethune is the first African-American to be honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol. Her likeness replaces a statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith.

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