A statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was removed from the U.S. Capitol on Sunday night, according to a tweet from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who wrote: “This is an important step forward—it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion.”
The statue is set to be replaced by one depicting civil rights icon Barbara Johns.
Wrote Northam in a longer statement: We should all be proud of this important step forward for our Commonwealth and our country. The Confederacy is a symbol of Virginia’s racist and divisive history, and it is past time we tell our story with images of perseverance, diversity, and inclusion. I look forward to seeing a trailblazing young woman of color represent Virginia in the U.S. Capitol, where visitors will learn about Barbara Johns’ contributions to America and be empowered to create positive change in their communities just like she did.”