COMMUNITY A Monumental Journey: TOLD BY THE ONES WHO TOOK THE JOURNEY by Dwana Bradley I had the opportunity on July 11th to talk with Judge Odell McGhee, Judge Henry Hamilton, and Dr. Vicky Long-Hill. Last year on July 12th, 2018 A Monumental Journey, an art piece created by Kerry Marshall was dedicated and now sits on the corner of 2nd and Grand Avenue. It was Judge O’Dell McGhee who came up with the idea to have an art piece in our city. I wanted to talk to these three to learn the history behind the monument, and the journey it took to make this monument a reality. Here is our conversation. Dwana: What is the history behind the monument, how it came to be, and the journey behind making this monument a reality? Judge Hamilton: There was the Iowa National Bar Association (INBA) and there is the National Bar Association (NBA). The INBA started out as the Iowa Colored Bar Association which started in 1901 and then five individuals from Des Moines started the National Bar Association in 1925. Judge McGhee: The five got together, they were the people who developed the initial concept of the NBA, and then they invited folks in surrounding states, and that’s when it became incorporated. We have twelve founders and they incorporated in 1925 as the National Bar Association Dr. Long-Hill: You will hear the story often and people will ask why some are referring to it as five founders and there are stories about the twelve. Five founders started it and approximately a year later, others from other states I believe Missouri, Illinois, joined in and by that time it became incorporated, there was twelve of them. Kerry James Marshall (American, born 1955) A Monumental Journey 2018 Manganese Ironspot brick, steel, granite Commissioned by Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation Collection, 2018.1

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