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York city looking to put first African-American statue downtown

YORK Pa. -- Breaking barriers  and honoring a historic hero with a statue in York.

"Interestingly he would sacrifice all of that to help strangers is what really makes him inspiring," said Carol Kauffman, community development director, Crispus Attucks Association.

His name was William C. Goodridge, a prominent African-American business man, who also helped hide slaves in his Philadelphia Street home as they were traveling along the underground railroad.

Now the city of York alongside Crispus Attucks is working to get a life-sized statue of him built.

"The heroes of history are not all very pale, we have lots of heroes in history and we need to make sure that we recognize that and celebrate that," said York Mayor Michael Helfrich.

York Mayor Michael Helfrich, who is behind the initiative, says Goodridge`s story is one to share.

"At that time, while there was strong support for African Americans in this community, there was also a group that was frankly, pro-slavery and didn`t want them in our community, so for him to be successful against those odds is really a remarkable story and a remarkable journey," said Helfrich.

Carol Kauffman, who manages the Goodridge center says the statue will placed right in front of his former home, now a museum, which organizers hope will bring people to the area.

"The idea is first of all to attract peoples attention as they are coming into the city of York from the East," added Kauffman.

The building of the statue is estimated to cost anywhere from $45,000 to $50,000, however funds are all donation-based. meaning the statue won`t be created until they hit their goal.

"Having a statue of him as the first one with Mayor Helfrichs initiative to show, yes we are recognizing the differences and hoping to bridge them," added Kauffman.

"I think it`s really important that we all see heroes in all races and all ethnicities," said Mayor Helfrich. "The more we know about different types of people that have been successful, I think the more hope there is for all of us to be successful," he added.

To help the Goodridge center meet their goal so that the statue can be made, visit: goodridgefreedomcenter.org