SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Jesse White has offered $5,000 to jumpstart the creation of  a new statue of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
"We're moving forward to try to erect a wonderful statue that really looked like Dr. King so when people come to Springfield and look at the beautiful buildings and the beautiful statues, that they will see Dr. King the way that he was when I was a youngster coming up," said White.  
 
The current statue stands at the corner of Second Street and Capitol Avenue across from the State Capitol building. A spot that many say is shaded and not right for such an influential member of history.
 
"When I first saw the statue my question was who was that? And someone said that's Dr. King. I said well that isn't Dr. King. I've never seen Dr. King with a jacket over his shoulder like he was a share cropper," White said. 
 
Diamond Jackson, third vice president for the Illinois State Conference of the NAACP, said the statue needs to be better.
 
"For someone that did so much for this country and was so monumental in a lot of the change we have today, you would think they would be represented better," Jackson said. 
 
Other members of the Springfield NAACP agree, especially President Teresa Haley.
 
"Kids today are still learning about Dr. King," Haley said. "You know so many times in history you forget and people will say who is that person. He is a part of all of our history, not just black history, but America's history."
 
A monument and statue task force has been established in the Illinois House of Representatives to deal with issues like this. Chairperson Mary Flowers said she supports Jesse White's motion and wants to see a new statue too.
 
"Its more dignifying for the children or the people to come by and look to see those who did not have the opportunity to get to know Martin Luther King and only read about him and to see him in a lifelike setting," Flowers said. 

Flowers said she does not know when the statue will be changed or moved, but they hope to make it happen within the next few years.

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