Tags: boston | abraham lincoln | statue

Boston to Remove Statue Showing Freed Slave Kneeling Before Abraham Lincoln

A detail of a statue that depicts a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln's feet rests on a pedestal
A detail of a statue that depicts a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln's feet rests on a pedestal, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Boston. The statue in Boston is a copy of the Emancipation Memorial that was erected in Lincoln Park, in Washington, D.C., in 1876. (Steven Senne/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 July 2020 12:26 PM

The Boston Art Commission earlier this week voted unanimously to remove a statue depicting a freed slave kneeling at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln, which the panel’s vice-chair said “hurts to look at.”

“As we continue our work to make Boston a more equitable and just city, it’s important that we look at the stories being told by the public art in all of our neighborhoods,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement, according to ABC News affiliate WCVB. “After engaging in a public process, it’s clear that residents and visitors to Boston have been uncomfortable with this statue, and its reductive representation of the Black man’s role in the abolitionist movement. I fully support the Boston Art Commission’s decision for removal and thank them for their work.”

The man in the “Freedman’s Memorial, also known as “The Emancipation Group” sculpture, is modeled off of Archer Alexander, a Black man who escaped from slavery and assisted the Union Army, and was the last man that was captured under the Fugitive Slave Act.

“Public art is storytelling at the street level. As such, the imagery should strike the heart and engage the mind,” said Ekua Holmes, the vice-chair of the Boston Art Commission. "What I heard today is that it hurts to look at this piece, and in the Boston landscape, we should not have works that bring shame to any groups of people -- not only in Boston but across the entire United States.”

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The Boston Art Commission earlier this week voted unanimously to remove a statue depicting a freed slave kneeling at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln, which the panel’s vice-chair said “hurts to look at.”
boston, abraham lincoln, statue
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2020-26-01
Wednesday, 01 July 2020 12:26 PM
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