Press Releases

Beyer Statement On Selection Of Barbara Johns For Virginia Statue To Replace Robert E. Lee In U.S. Capitol

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on the announcement that a Virginia commission had selected Barbara Johns as the subject of a statue to replace Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the National Statuary Hall Collection of the U.S. Capitol:

“Barbara Johns was a pioneer in the Civil Rights movement who helped desegregate schools in Virginia and across the country. Her courage and bravery still are not sufficiently appreciated by the country she helped make more just, and it is my hope that this new statue will help make more people aware of her contributions.

“As we continue to reckon with the history of racism and slavery in Virginia and the United States, it is fitting that we replace symbols of those wrongs with imagery of heroes who helped right them. This is a model that other states should follow, and a step forward for our Commonwealth that makes me proud. I look forward to seeing Barbara Johns’ statue in the U.S. Capitol.”

Beyer introduced legislation earlier this week to remove the designation of Arlington House as a memorial to Robert E. Lee, and voted last week for legislation that included a measure to rename military bases currently named after Confederate generals.