SALT LAKE CITY — A historic occasion was celebrated ahead of the Pioneer Day Weekend as a new work of art honoring Black pioneers was unveiled at “This is the Place" Heritage Park in Salt Lake City.
The new monument called Pioneers of 1847 represents the contributions made by Black pioneers to the migration and settlement of Utah.
Those featured in the monument include Green Flake, Hark Wales and Oscar Smith, and Jane Manning and her children.
Gov. Spencer Cox, along with members of the NAACP were among the large crowd that showed up to commemorate the long-awaited moment.
"For people to come together and be excited about our history. Our joint history. Is exciting. It’s unifying," said actor and musician Yahosh Bonner, who played Flake in the film "His Name is Green Flake."
The bronze cast sculptures arrived just two days before the dedication.
"To be able to see statues of people who represent me, who come from where my ancestors came from, I think is so special," added Bonner. "Because it gives me a place, and it makes me feel more included and a part.”
Bonner and many others hope the monument serves as an education, reflective and healing space for centuries to come.
April Baker at KSTU first reported this story.