Artist, community members hope 'Lady Justice' unites us instead of divides us
Posted July 25, 2019 10:06 p.m. EDT
Updated February 9, 2021 11:30 a.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — In our area and across the country, statues have divided us.
It's not the statues themselves but what they represent to generations past and present. In Chapel Hill, a group of protestors pulled down the Silent Sam statue after months of demonstrations. In Durham, another confederate monument crashed to the ground during similar protests.
Thursday night, a new statue was unveiled, one that serves to unite rather than divide. The 14-foot "Lady Justice" statute was unveiled on Mangum Street in Durham.
Lady Justice, a reference to our legal system, is blind. She doesn't see color or class. She treats everyone the same, which is a theme of the statue for everyone to unite all of Durham.
They waited on Magnum Street with anticipation. Then the covers came off and "Lady Justice" stood for all to see.
"It represents unity because it is blind ... we are all the same in the dark," said Julian Hall, one of the two lawyers who helped make the statue a reality.
"We don't have enough statues that honor women and people of color," said Robert Maitland, another lawyer who worked to get the statue put up.
Statues in Durham and North Carolina have been in the spotlight, from Silent Sam to Robert E. Lee and other confederate monuments that was called divisive.
Two attorneys, Julian Hall and Robert Maitland, decided to make "Lady Justice" a reality and a symbol of unity. UNC Sociology Professor Howard Aldrich believes "Lady Justice" could fulfill the goal of bringing a community together.
It took the sculptor Joe Coates 14 months to create it. He said he's just proud to have a woman of color statue in Durham.