Emancipation Of Slavery Monument Unveiled Two Weeks After Robert E. Lee Statue Removed
A monument celebrating the abolition of slavery has been unveiled, two weeks after the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Richmond, Virginia.
Robert E. Lee was a Confederate General and overall commander for the Confederate States Army, most known for his military service to the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. However, he was also a prolific white supremacist and slave-owner.
His 12-ton statue was removed two weeks ago from its base on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. It was previously a significant site for the Black Lives Matter movement following Derek Chauvin’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.
Just two miles from the former site of the Lee statue, a new monument has just been unveiled in Richmond, Virginia.
The statue has been named the ‘Emancipation and Freedom Monument’ and depicts two 12-foot-tall statues of a man and a woman holding a child after being freed from slavery.
According to the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, who commissioned the new statue, the monument is set to honour the involvement of Black Virginians and their contributions to the ‘centuries-long fight for emancipation and freedom.’
Ralph Northam, Virginia Governor, said, ‘Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value,’ calling the removal of the Lee statue ‘one of my proudest days’, according to CNN.
‘You know, we talk often about the need to make sure that we tell and teach the full and true story of our shared history, how we must ensure that everyone understands where we have been so we can build a more inclusive future together,’ the governor added.
‘But in this monument, we see a different part of the story,’ Northam continued. ‘These figures embody the power, the power of emancipation and the power of freedom.’
The emancipation monument was designed by Thomas Jay Warren, with the commissioned project’s website stating, ‘The base of the monument features the names, images, and brief biographical information of ten African American Virginians whose lives were dedicated to Emancipation and freedom — five individuals from the period before Emancipation through 1865, and five who continued to work for freedom from 1866 to 1970.’
It goes on to detail the names of the figures depicted in the statue, including Mary Elizabeth Bowser, who served as a Union spy in the Confederate White House and John Mercer Langston, Virginia’s first Black member of Congress.
The Emancipation and Freedom Monument was unveiled in Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
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