Pittsburgh’s mayor Bill Peduto announced on Wednesday that the city will be replacing the statue of controversial songwriter, Stephen Foster, with a statue that honors black women.
The mayor’s Task Force on Women in Public Art is asking Pittsburgh residents nominate an African-American woman through voting or via suggestion during community meetings, The Pittsburgh-Tribune Review reports.
“I look forward to the community’s input to see how we can remember and commemorate African-American women and all their contributions in the city of Pittsburgh,” Peduto said in a statement.
The statue had been a lightning rod for controversy because it featured Foster sitting above a man, who’s been described as a slave.
Foster was known as the “father of American music” and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He wrote the classic songs “Oh! Susanna,” and “Hard Times Come Again No More.”
Peduto said that the Foster statue will be relocated from its current location at the city’s Schenley Park to a private location that hasn’t been determined.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.