The Frederick Douglass Statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitors Center, at the U.S. Capitol, on June 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Congressional leaders dedicated the statue during a ceremony on Wednesday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.