Leftist activists are petitioning to remove Boston’s Emancipation Memorial which features former Republican President Abraham Lincoln and a newly freed slave who is rising from his knees while holding a broken chain.
“A petition to remove the statue was spearheaded by an African American man from Boston named Tory Bullock who says he’s been seeing the statue since he was a kid,” WCVB-TV Boston reported. “Bullock says his petition has more than 7,000 signatures and the attention of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who Bullock posted is willing to talk about removing it.”
Bullock said: “It says that it’s a statue that’s supposed to represent freedom. But, to me, it represents submissiveness. It represents: ‘Know your place, because that’s where you belong.'”
However, that is not what the statue represents, and the statue is a replica of an identical statue in Washington, D.C., that slaves paid for as a tribute to Lincoln.
“The piece contained two figures: Lincoln and a newly freed slave, just rising from his knees and grasping a broken chain,” The Washington Post reported. “This statue, which still stands in Lincoln Park, was erected with contributions from hundreds of former slaves who wanted to pay tribute to the man who had proclaimed their freedom in 1863.”
The Post noted that a broken chain was specifically placed in the slave’s hand to make it clear that the slave was “an eager participant in his own liberation.”
On April 14, 1876, Frederick Douglass spoke at the unveiling of the memorial in Washington, D.C.
“The sentiment that brings us here to-day is one of the noblest that can stir and thrill the human heart,” Douglass said. “It has crowned and made glorious the high places of all civilized nations with the grandest and most enduring works of art, designed to illustrate the characters and perpetuate the memories of great public men. It is the sentiment which from year to year adorns with fragrant and beautiful flowers the graves of our loyal, brave, and patriotic soldiers who fell in defence of the Union and liberty. It is the sentiment of gratitude and appreciation, which often, in presence of many who hear me, has filled yonder heights of Arlington with the eloquence of eulogy and the sublime enthusiasm of poetry and song; a sentiment which can never die while the Republic lives.”
Douglass later added, “We, the colored people, newly emancipated and rejoicing in our blood-bought freedom, near the close of the first century in the life of this Republic, have now and here unveiled, set apart, and dedicated a monument of enduring granite and bronze, in every line, feature, and figure of which the men of this generation may read, and those of after-coming generations may read, something of the exalted character and great works of Abraham Lincoln, the first martyr President of the United States.”
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