After more than two decades of waiting, the African American History Memorial Monument was finally revealed in the South Lawn of the State Capitol on Saturday morning.
The30 foot long, 10 foot high bronze and granite monument took a $2.5 million budget, of which $1.5 million is approved state money.
“This was a long drawn out process. You had to raise the funds, you had to find a location for it on top of that, finding the sculptor,” said Eric McDaniel, government professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
McDaniel is also the Vice President of the Gamma Eta Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, an integral group in making the monument possible. McDaniel among hundreds of others listened to one dignity after another give speeches. Among those who spoke in the event were Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, State Representative Helen Giddings, State Senator Rodney Ellis, and Governor Greg Abbott.
Turner’s speech became slightly emotional as the Houston Mayor recalled how grateful he is for the African American men and women who came before him for his current position.
Meanwhile, Denver-based sculptor Ed Dwight finished this historical masterpiece. Moreover, the monument features the African-American experience in Texas, from exploration in the 1500s to slavery and emancipation to achievement in arts and science.