Boston removes statue of former slave kneeling earlier than President Lincoln after 141 years

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“We’re happy to have taken it down this morning,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Marty Walsh mentioned in a press release to CNN.

“As expressed by so many throughout the public course of this 12 months, we totally agree that the statue needs to be relocated to a brand new publicly accessible location the place its historical past and context could be higher defined,” the spokeswoman mentioned. “The choice for removing acknowledges the statue’s position in perpetuating dangerous prejudices and obscuring the position of Black Individuals in shaping the nation’s struggle for freedom.”

Walsh’s workplace mentioned that the statue was moved to a storage facility till a brand new location is chosen.

The removing comes after months of a nationwide motion to take away symbols of the Confederacy and different statues which were deemed racist by at this time’s requirements.
Boston to remove statue depicting freed slave kneeling before President Lincoln
The statue is a duplicate of 1 in Washington, DC, and it has been controversial since its set up in 1876 for the way it portrays the freed slave. It reveals President Lincoln in a swimsuit standing above {a partially} dressed former slave rising from damaged shackles, in keeping with the Boston Arts and Tradition web site.

The Boston duplicate was put in in 1879. It was donated by Moses Kimball, a politician and founding father of the Boston Museum, in keeping with the Arts and Tradition web site.

The statue was primarily based on {a photograph} of Archer Alexander, a previously enslaved man who “helped the Union Military earlier than in search of freedom for himself and his household,” in keeping with town’s web site. Alexander was recaptured a number of occasions beneath the Fugitive Slave Act.

The bronze statue was meant to have fun the emancipation of slaves, however some understand it as subjecting oneself to Lincoln or a show of white dominance, in keeping with the Harvard Library.

Whereas there’s at all times been criticism of the statue, it was a neighborhood petition began in June that renewed interested by its removing.

Boston space actor and activist Tory Bullock began the petition, in keeping with town’s web site. It had greater than 12,000 signatures in favor of the removing.
“It is a tremendous funeral, I am right here to supply a silent eulogy for this piece of art work that is been right here for 141 years,” Bullock advised CNN affiliate WBZ because the statue was eliminated.

“I am proud, I am Black and I am younger,” Bullock mentioned. “This picture has been doing a number of disservice to African Individuals in Boston and now it stops.”

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A collection of digital panel discussions and short-term artwork installations this winter will have a look at “inspecting and reimagining our cultural symbols, public artwork, and histories,” the mayor’s spokeswoman mentioned.

The Boston Artwork Fee is on the lookout for concepts on the place to maneuver the statue. Individuals can submit concepts or suggestions right here.

CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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