Boston Takes Down Statue Of Slave Kneeling Before Abraham Lincoln

Boston officials have officially removed The Emancipation Statue from Boston Common. The statue depicted a slave kneeling before former President Abraham Lincoln.

“A race set free and the country at peace. Lincoln rests from his labors," an inscribed phrase on the statue once read.

The Emancipation Statue was inspired by the story of Archer Alexander, a Black man who escaped slavery and enlisted in the Union Army. Alexander became the last man to be recaptured under The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

For years, the imagery of an enslaved Black citizen kneeling before a white man had raised concerns with many. Led by artist Tory Bullock, a petition calling for the statue's removal gained 12,000 signatures. In July, the Boston Arts Commission voted to remove the statue from public grounds.

“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,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

The Emancipation Statue in Boston is a copy of a similar statue in Washington, D.C. In June, Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes introduced a bill to have the statue removed from the city's Lincoln Park.

"The designers of the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park in DC didn’t take into account the views of African Americans. It shows," Norton said.

"Blacks too fought to end enslavement. That’s why I’m introducing a bill to move this statue to a museum."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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