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Philly’s New Octavius Catto Monument is Stunningly Lit at Night

December 26, 2017

Shout out to whoever got the City to light up Philly’s new Octavius Catto monument at night!

Octavius Catto (1839 – 1871) was a Black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia, who struggled against segregation and discrimination in transportation, sports, politics, and society. Fierce opposition to Catto’s activism and the general progress of African Americans contributed to his eventual murder. At the age of 32, Catto was shot and killed in election-day violence on South Street in Philadelphia, where ethnic Irish of the Democratic Party, which was anti-Reconstruction and had opposed black suffrage, attacked black men to prevent their voting for Republican candidates. (Sources: Wikipedia, the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia)

While there are a small handful of monuments to historical American American individuals around Philadelphia on privately owned land, Catto’s new monument, installed this past fall, became Philadelphia’s first monument to an historic African American individual on public land anywhere in the city.

See the brilliant new monument for yourself on the south apron of City Hall, and read more about Catto and how this monument came to be in this piece by Stephan Salisbury!

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