The statue of Powell is 12 feet high and made of bronze. It sits on a cylindrical pedestal made of stainless steel and black granite. All told, the monument is 21 feet tall. In his right hand, Powell has a copy of the Congressional Record; one could be forgiven for assuming that Powell was looking for a place to chuck that thing. Powell is depicted, like I said, moving uphill, no doubt a bit of symbolism that could serve for any black person so memorialized in New York — or for anyone who endeavors to get such a memorial built.
The piece was sculpted by Branly Cadet, a New York native. It’s named “Higher Ground,” apparently inspired by a quote from Powell, “Press forward at all times, climbing forward toward that higher ground of the harmonious society that shapes the laws of man to the laws of God.”
The memorial was dedicated on Feb. 17, 2005. Apart from the usual roster of politicians, Powell’s son and grandson were on hand, Adam Clayton Powell III and Adam Clayton Powell IV.
HTB QUICK FACT: 2005. Corner of Fredrick Douglas Blvd. and West 125 St. Federal Plaza.
1st African-American congressman in the USA, 1945 to 1970.