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Resolution to replace Lewis Cass statue in the U.S. Capitol advances past state Senate

Black and White photo of Coleman Young speaking into microphones at a podium. There is a crowd of people behind him ,holding signs that read, "We need a worker's party based on the unions" and "Penny Bailer for City Council" among others that are cut off by the photo.
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Coleman Young was Detroit's first African American mayor. If approved by the state Legislature, a statue of him would be the first representation of a Black man in the National Statuary Hall.

Former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young could become the first Black man represented in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

A resolution to replace one of two statues currently representing Michigan in the Capitol building with Young recently passed the state Senate.

Senator Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) has been leading that effort.

“Today’s movement is not about tearing down a statue, but it is about replacing and changing who we send to D.C. Right now, we have Lewis Cass who was a territorial governor of the State of Michigan and the secretary of war under Andrew Jackson," he said. "And he led President Jackson’s Indian removal program."

Hollier said Young would be a better representative for Michigan in the statuary collection.

“He was somebody who spent his entire career fighting for freedom, fighting for people and fighting for his constituents. And for anybody who ever knew him, he could be a polarizing figure as so many great people were,” he said.

Hollier noted it’s been the custom for Democrats and Republicans to each choose a member of their party to honor in Washington, D.C.

More than a decade ago, Republicans moved to replace a statue of former Senator and Detroit Mayor Zachariah Chandler with one of President Gerald Ford. That swap took place back in 2011.

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