York plans statue of African-American
YORK — The city of York is working to create a life-sized statue of William C. Goodridge, a prominent African-American businessman who helped hide slaves in his home as they traveled along the underground railroad.
“Interestingly, he would sacrifice all of that to help strangers, [which] is what really makes him inspiring,” said Carol Kauffman, manager of the William C. Goodridge Freedom Center and Museum.
York Mayor Michael Helfrich, who is behind the initiative, says Goodridge’s story should be shared.
“The heroes of history are not all very pale. We have lots of heroes in history and we need to make sure that we recognize that and celebrate that,” Helfrich said.
“At that time, while there was strong support for African Americans in this community, there was also a group that was frankly, pro-slavery and didn’t want them in our community, so for him to be successful against those odds is really a remarkable story and a remarkable journey,” said Helfrich.
Kauffman said the statue will placed in front of his former home, now a museum on Philadelphia Street, which organizers hope will bring people to the area.
“The idea is first of all to attract people’s attention as they are coming into the city of York from the East,” Kauffman said.
The building of the statue is estimated to cost anywhere from $45,000 to $50,000, but the statue won’t be created until the funds are raised.
“I think it’really important that we all see heroes in all races and all ethnicities,” Helfrich said. “The more we know about different types of people that have been successful, I think the more hope there is for all of us to be successful.”
Information about the effort is available at goodridgefreedomcenter.org. — (WPMT/CNN)