House Speaker John A. Boehner released a video on Thursday that previews the dedication of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’ statue next week at the Capitol Visitor Center.
Mr. Boehner, standing in the spot inside Emancipation Hall where the statue will be placed, says the statue is part of the nation’s effort to recognize those who fought to end slavery.
“Here we recognize the slave laborers who helped build the Capitol, and we capture America’s journey toward a more perfect union,” he says.
Douglass, the speaker says, fled from slavery at age 20, spoke about his experiences and became a friend and adviser to President Abraham Lincoln.
“Born a slave, Frederick Douglass died a statesman, a hero,” Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, says. “And now he’ll join the presidents, authors and innovators who line the walls of the Capitol.”
The official dedication of the statue, a gift from the District of Columbia, will be aired live at speaker.gov/frederickdouglass on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
“It’s a fitting tribute to one of the greatest Americans and voices for freedom who ever lived,” Mr. Boehner says in the video clip.