Coming Soon: MLK Statue to GA Statehouse

Iconic photographer Bob Adelman shares his thoughts on the Civil Rights Movement and historic photos.
Photo Credit: Bob Adelman

A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. will soon rise on Georgia’s statehouse grounds.

State Rep. Calvin Smyre (D), who has been charged with coordinating the statue, told the state’s Building Authority that the eight-foot statue will sit on top of a three-foot base. The monument will also include inscriptions from the civil rights leader on all four sides.

The King statue will overlook the busy road that bears the iconic civil rights leader’s name. It will be just a short walk from the recently opened Liberty Plaza.

While the decision has been years in the making, the latest update regarding the monument comes at a very tense time for the state. Georgia, among other southern states, is currently wrestling with its Confederate heritage in the wake of the tragic murders on nine Black worshippers at a Charleston, South Carolina church by a white man who told officials he wanted to start a race war.

Democrats are urging the state to cease celebration of Confederate Memorial Day and Confederate Heritage Month. The state has stopped selling license plates that feature the battle emblem.

“Georgia has stepped up. Dr. King’s statue is in so many places of prominence around the country, and it will soon be where it belongs on the statehouse grounds,” Smyre told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It sends a signal that we want to do the right thing.”

Gov. Nathan Deal first announced the memorial last year. It comes after years of lobbying from Black leaders to put King’s likeness on statehouse grounds. Deal called the move a “long overdue” honor.

The statue is projected to cost an estimated $350,000.