A statue in a Boston public park of a formerly enslaved black man on his knees in front of President Abraham Lincoln was dismantled this week, 141 years after it was erected.
The removal of the Emancipation Group statue in Park Square comes months after the Boston Art Commission voted to remove the statue which has stood in Park Square since 1879 by the end of the year 2020 according to the Boston Herald.
The decision came in June, at the height of nationwide protests that took place following the death of George Floyd a Black man, by a white police officer.
While highlighting systemic racism around the country, protesters also turned their attention to statues and monuments that praised the Confederate Army and its generals, presidents, and soldiers- a move that has led to the removal of many.
Tory Bullock, who helped push the petition for the statue’s removal, said he interpreted the monument in a negative light.
“At the top of my petition, I described being a kid and I would always ask myself, ‘If he’s free, why is he still on his knees?’ After this, no kid will ever have to ask that again,” Bullock told the Boston Herald.
“I’m proud, I’m Black and I’m young,” Bullock told the outlet. “This image has been doing a lot of disservice to African Americans in Boston and now it stops.
Speaking on the issue, a spokeswoman for Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement to CNN. “We’re pleased to have taken it down this morning,”
“As expressed by so many during the public process this year, we fully agree that the statue should be relocated to a new publicly accessible location where its history and context can be better explained,” the spokeswoman said.
“The decision for removal acknowledges the statue’s role in perpetuating harmful prejudices and obscuring the role of Black Americans in shaping the nation’s fight for freedom.
The statue will not be destroyed, but will rather be relocated to a location where “its history and context can be better explained,”
“The decision for removal acknowledges the statue’s role in perpetuating harmful prejudices and obscuring the role of Black Americans in shaping the nation’s fight for freedom,”
CNN reports that the statue is a replica of one erected in Washington D.C. It’s based on a picture of Archer Alexander who was a former slave born into slavery.