A plaque is now being placed in the center of the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas.
The plaque will read, “The memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is more precious than the lives of every American citizen.”
The memorial is the brainchild of Drs.
Eric Johnson and Charles Johnson.
Johnson and Johnson were inspired by Dr. King’s legacy.
“I want to say that I’ve been a part of the movement for racial justice and equality for many years,” Johnson told CBS News.
Johnson said the Johnson Memorial is dedicated to Dr. Dr. Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy.
The memorial will be located at the top of the south plaza.
It will be flanked by the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
“It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” Johnson said.
Johnson has been involved in the Johnson memorial movement since it began more than 20 years ago.
“We were very surprised when we saw the memorial was going to be built,” Johnson explained.
Johnson began the Johnson campaign to build a memorial to Dr Martin Luther, Jr., but was unsuccessful.
He now believes that Dr. Gandhi’s legacy is greater than any other American.
“The history of the United States has been defined by people of color, the poor, women, the immigrants, the women’s rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, women’s suffrage, people who have never had an opportunity,” Johnson added.
The Johnson Memorial’s foundation received more than $200,000 from Johnson’s organization.
Johnson hopes that the monument will draw people of all races to come to the plaza.
“You know when people come in here and sit in the plaza and take a look around, it is a place where you can really see that we have been here before,” Johnson continued.
The statue is being installed in an area known as the “Hall of Glory.”
It will sit atop the Jefferson Monument, where it was originally installed.
It was named after Dr. Charles Johnson, the man who built the first permanent monument in Kansas.
Johnson plans to use the Johnson monument to honor other prominent Americans and those who were inspired to fight for equality and social justice.
Johnson says that his statue will reflect his belief that Drs King and Gandhi are the true heroes of the civil rights movement.
“When people say they are the greatest, they have a lot of pride in saying that,” Johnson noted.
“They’re saying that because they are a real hero.”
Johnson said that his goal is to honor people who fought to achieve equality and were never rewarded for their efforts.
“What we’re trying to do here is give them a chance to get some recognition,” Johnson shared.
Johnson told the Kansas City Star that his father and Dr. Johnson would have been proud of their work.
“He would have loved to be here today, but we’re not here to celebrate the work that they did.
We’re here to honor Drs Martin Luther and Drs Mahatmas.
It’s about the fact that the Johnson family was a force in bringing that movement forward and to make it a real, lasting movement,” Johnson remarked.
“Drs Mahatsas are not just people that were here.
They’re people who came here, and the work they did and the vision they shared is just as important as their lives.”
Johnson’s father, Charles Johnson Sr., was a civil rights activist and the founding president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Drs Johnson and Dr Mahatmos mother, Helen Johnson, were both civil rights activists.
Johnson explained that Dr Mahatsam family was not always able to afford to travel to see the Johnson statue.
“Their mother could only afford to drive and their father could only drive,” Johnson recalled.
Johnson is also hoping that the memorial will inspire people to learn about the lives and accomplishments of other people who helped inspire them.
“In the beginning, I think that’s going to happen,” Johnson suggested.
“This is not a one-time thing, this is going to become part of our history, part of who we are as a nation.”