Phila. chips in for statue of civil right leader Octavius Catto

Plans to honor a Philadelphia civil rights champion with a statue are getting a boost now that the city will pay for one quarter of the cost.

City Councilman Jim Kenney describes Octavius Catto as an African-American man who was ahead of his time fighting for civil rights in the 1800s in Philadelphia.

“To think about the fact that he was the Martin Luther King of his day, he was the Jackie Robinson of this day and to think that he was killed on South Street where we all go to recreate and I didn’t learn about him until I was 40 years old,” said Kenney.

The city is putting up $500,000 of the cost of a statue to be put on the Southwest side of City Hall.  Mayor Nutter said it will help people remember the fiery advocate who pushed for fair treatment of all.

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“His story ties struggles of the past to struggles of today to struggles of the future,” said Nutter.

The memorial fund will have to raise the remaining $1.5 million to build the statute.

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