St. Pete to help organize restoration of MLK/Malcolm X monument in Cuba

Cuban flag in Tampa's Jose Marti Park. by Sean Kinane / WMNF News, May 2011.

The City of St. Petersburg will be part of an effort to restore a fading monument in Havana, Cuba that honors civil rights leaders Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X; Mayor Rick Kriseman recently led a city delegation to Cuba.

During a press conference earlier this month, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin said collaborating with private groups to restore the memorial is one of the “wonderful opportunities” she will lead to build on relationships between the two communities.

“…as a gift from the people of St. Petersburg in recognition of the beauty of the people of Havana. So that’s one of the activities that I look very forward to leading and taking back a delegation that will work in a meaningful way to restore this wall, where Council chair [Charlie] Gerdes is standing [in a photo] actually has the words to Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech both in English and in Spanish. And it’s a revered wall that means a lot to the people there. Obviously the sentiment means a lot to the people here. And it is through those types of connections that we are confident that we will move forward with progress for the people of Cuba.”

Democratic State Representative Darryl Rouson has visited the monument and supports efforts to restore it.

“King was about civil rights. And so was Malcolm X. The Cuban Council of Churches was about the rights of the people. And we care about the civil rights of the Cuban person over there. So to restore this gives us an opportunity to honor the civil rights of all men and women.”


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