Philadelphia to honor black activist with City Hall statue

AP News
Posted: Jun 10, 2016 3:10 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A black Philadelphia activist, educator and writer called "the Martin Luther King Jr. of the 19th century" will be honored at City Hall with a statue and sculpture.

Octavius V. Catto moved to the city with his family in 1844 from South Carolina. He graduated valedictorian of his class from the newly founded Institute for Colored Youth, later Cheyney University, the nation's first historically black college.

The installation will include a 12-foot bronze statue of Catto and five granite pillars behind him.

The $1.5 million monument is titled "A Quest for Parity" and is expected to be complete by late 2016.

Catto was fatally shot by Irish protesters seeking to keep blacks from voting on Oct. 10, 1871, the first Election Day in which African-Americans were allowed to vote.