Houston elected officials, civil rights leaders and residents gathered on Saturday to attend the unveiling of a bronze statue of Martin Luther King Jr., ending decades of drama over its location and lack of funds to complete it, according to KHOU.
A large crowd, including Martin Luther King III, was on hand for the unveiling at MacGregor Park, just south of downtown Houston, the report says.
The movement continues, King said, according to KHOU, “until there is equal justice for everyone.”
The drama surrounding the statue began decades ago after activists planted a tree in a median of Houston’s MLK Boulevard until a statue could be built. But the tree had to be removed when Metro, Houston’s transit authority, began construction on its light rail line, touching off a fiery debate. The director of the Black Heritage Society chained himself to the tree in protest, the report says.
“The first train may run over my dead body,” Ovide Duncantell, the director, said two years ago, KHOU reports. Known as the Tree of Life, it was eventually relocated to MacGregor Park, the report says. And Metro paid $750,000 to create a memorial plaza near the tree. The statue was commissioned and paid for with private funds, the report says.
Read more at KHOU.