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Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press
With the statue of statue of Frederick Douglass in the background, Nettie Washington Douglass, second from left, Frederick Douglass' great great granddaughter and her son Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., left, President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, second from right, and Vice President Joe Biden are photographed after ceremony to dedicate the statue, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. The bronze statue of Douglass is by Maryland artist Steve Weitzman.

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden is hailing Frederick Douglass for his work to bring about equal justice, leading a series of tributes at the unveiling of a statue of the 19th-century orator and writer.

Biden, along with Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, used the U.S. Capitol ceremony to call for equal voting rights for citizens of the District of Columbia — an issue dear to Douglass' heart.

Biden said the people of the District "made the right choice" in selecting Douglass as their representative.

The 7-foot bronze likeness of Douglass joins sculpted statues of fellow blacks Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth in Emancipation Hall.

Douglass was born a slave in 1818 in Talbot County, Md. and advised President Abraham Lincoln.