Conservative Black leaders on Tuesday rallied around the Emancipation statue in Washington, D.C., denouncing the idea of taking down the Lincoln monument intended to commemorate the end of slavery, reports Fox News .
“African art contains the symbol of the crouching lion in order to convey the prospect of the pouncing king. See how strongly Archer Alexander’s figure resembles the crouching lion, whether in photograph or in stone,” said William B. Allen, a professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University. “So let those who think this is a degrading figure, rethink.”
Alexander, who helped the Union during the Civil War, is depicted in the statue shirtless, kneeling by Lincoln’s feet with broken shackles on his wrists and ankles. The statue is thought to be the first of a Black man in America.
Star Parker, founder of UrbanCURE, said the statue is too important to be hidden away in a museum “just to appease a mob or the insecure that thinks they need safe space.”
“This country was founded on the rule of law, and if statues should come down, then it is up to the local governments and local city councils and local mayors to make that determination, but when we’re talking about statues that are on national federal property, we’re talking about debate for all of the American people, debate that we must have if there’s going to be movement to remove this precious, precious, sacred monument that I stand in front of,” she said.
Communities across the country are reconsidering statues and monuments of historical figures following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis.
D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in late June said she planned to introduce legislation to remove the Emancipation statue, calling it problematic.
“Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input, and it shows,” Norton said in a statement at the time.
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