Only 8% of public statues in America honor women, according to a 2021 report from ABC7 in Los Angeles. On March 8, International Women’s Day, Atlanta contributed to bridge that large disparity by unveiling its statue of legendary civil rights leader and broadcaster Xernona Clayton.
“I am more than delighted with this indescribable moment,” Clayton, 92, said, according to a press release.
The 8-foot tall statue crafted by Ed Dwight of Denver is located in downtown Atlanta in Xernona Clayton Plaza at West Peachtree Street and Xernona Clayton Way.
The founder of the Trumpet Awards, which has been distributed t over 185 countries around the world, Clayton also worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. For over 60 years, Clayton has fought for a “fair and equitable society.”
The idea to build the statue came from Rick Baker and Mariela Romero.
“There is no one more deserving of such an honor than she, Xernona Clayton, an icon, a trailblazer, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement,” Na’eema Rashad, Xernona Clayton Statue Committee chair, said, according to the press release.
The statue will be a permanent fixture in downtown Atlanta.