More than 6,000 people have signed a petition in Buffalo, N.Y., that calls for the above statue honoring Martin Luther King Jr. to be replaced with a more realistic likeness of the late civil rights icon, LBS reports.
The push to replace the statue is being organized by Samuel A. Herbert, who says he has collected more than 6,000 signatures calling for the statue to be replaced, writes The Buffalo News. He began collecting the signatures for the petition on MLK day this year.
Created by a black artist, John Woodrow Wilson, the 8-foot-tall bronze bust has looked over MLK Park since 1983. As the Buffalo News reports, the statue was not intended to look like Dr. King, but rather, as an “every man” that “young black men and others” could identify with.
But if you look at one of Wilson’s sketches—one that strongly resembles the composition of the statue—that sketch bears a strong resemblance to Dr. King, suggesting that a more realistic depiction was considered at some point.
Herbert acknowledges that a lot of people are fine leaving the statue how it is. But many others, apparently, feel the Matthew Luther Prince statue is an inadequate homage.
Herbert told The Buffalo News that a woman shouted ‘We’ve been robbed!’ once she saw the sculpture. Herbert himself donated money that he should’ve been spending on his bills to help complete the sculpture — and was disappointed when he saw it.
“Dr. King was born on American soil. Dr. King was born as a black man,” Herbert said. “As an American, he is deserving to have a statue that looks just like him.”
Here’s a picture in case you forgot what Dr. King actually looks like.