The statue installation comes at a time when the accomplishments of pioneering women, African-Americans and other minorities are increasingly being recognized with memorials, statues and public works of art. In Chicago, for example, there are memorials that honor women like Jane Addams — but few statues or busts that present an actual image of notable women.
For decades, Simpson’s role as the first black woman to finish a doctorate from U. of C. has gone largely unknown. But on Tuesday, two university students will unveil a bust of Simpson atop a pedestal at the Reynolds Club, the university’s student center, which was once accessible only by white males. For Asya Akca and Shae Omonijo, the move is an effort to give Simpson her rightful place in university, and Chicago, history.