Wichita statue representing first civil rights movement sit-in moved


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A statue representing the first successful student-led sit-in of the civil rights movement at the Wichita Dockum Drug Store was moved Wednesday.

The statue is by artist Georgia Gerber and was located at Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square Park, 205 E. Douglas. Wichita Park and Recreation is working to redesign the park. The City of Wichita says the new design will commemorate Lewis’ life and accomplishments.

A final location for the statue will be announced at a later date. The statue will be protected in a storage facility.

Chester Lewis park proposed renovation (Courtesy: City of Wichita)

Lewis is a late prominent local civil rights leader who served on the legal team that argued the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also provided guidance to the NAACP Youth Council during the first successful series of student sit-ins at the Dockum Drug Store lunch counter in 1958. It inspired other similar sit-ins across the country and helped bring about racial equality at places including restaurants, businesses and swimming pools.

The Richard Devore family generously donated the sculpture to the Wichita community. It was installed in 2002.

More information on the statue and renovations to the park can be found here.

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