Viola Liuzzo Statue

  • Viola-Liuzzo-Statue-WWP

Place Category: Memorial & StatuePlace Tags: Places in MI

  • Description

    At the park bearing her name stands a life-size bronze statue of Viola Liuzzo – a civil rights activist that had been murdered by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). On March 25th, 1965, Liuzzo, a 39 years old Detroiter housewife and a mother of five, came from Detroit to Alabama to march with 25,000 activists supporting African-Americans’ right to vote. After the rally, she shuttled marchers and volunteers from Montgomery to Selma, and KKK members shot her in the head and killed her. She is the only white woman to die during the 1960’s civil rights fights.
    The statue’s dedication ceremony was held on July 23rd, 2019, in front of a crowd of a few hundred people, among them were Liuzzo’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
    The statue was created by the local Detroiter artist, Austen Brantley. It depicts Liuzzo’s determined expression while she mid-marches, barefoot holding her shoes in one hand, walking away from the KKK hood that lying on the ground; she is moving forward, leaving violence and hatred behind her.

    The 1965 murder of Viola Gregg Liuzzo

    Viola Liuzzo participated in demonstrations through the streets of Detroit and on the campus of Wayne State University in a show of support for the rights of those who had been attacked. However, as a woman who possessed strong convictions and a demonstrated willingness to take action for causes she believed in, Liuzzo was convinced that she had to actually join the fight in Selma. Thus, Liuzzo headed south on a journey that would ultimately end in tragedy and controversy.
  • More Info
    Address: Viola Liuzzo Park, 20087 Winthrop Street, Detroit, MI 48235
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  • Photo credit - WWP team