Some statues must fall. The stories they tell no longer deserve to be told. But in the case of the Emancipation Memorial, there is an alternative to toppling. More, via TheUndefeated:
Why does it feel good to watch statues fall? I’ve been thinking about this while watching protesters topple larger-than-life images of a broad range of figures,…
At the time of its dedication in 1876, when African American men and women were seldom honored in the United States and in fact endured brutal and relentless oppression, this statue served as a source of pride. African American people paid for its construction, beginning with a $5 donation from “Charlotte Scott, a colored washer woman, of Marietta, Ohio, the morning after Lincoln’s assassination,” according to
The Baltimore Sunon April 15, 1876.President Ulysses S. Grant, members of his Cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court and members of Congress all attended the dedication. Frederick Douglass, a former slave, gave the big speech of the day. “No African American speaker had ever faced this kind of captive audience, composed of all the leadership of the federal government in one place,” David Blight wrote in his biography of Douglass, “and no such speaker would ever again until Barack Obama was inaugurated president in 2009.”
Douglass struck celebratory chords, but he also began, immediately, to change the story of the statue. “He was preeminently the white man’s president,” Douglass said of Lincoln, “entirely devoted to the welfare of the white man.” Douglass criticized Lincoln for sacrificing the rights of “the colored people to promote the welfare of the white people of the country.”
The statue’s meaning continued to shift over time. Twenty years after the dedication, William Greenleaf Eliot published a book about the man who had served as a model for the kneeling, shirtless figure in the Emancipation Memorial. The model was Archer Alexander, an escaped slave who bravely aided Union troops during the Civil War and whose biography reminds us that slaves were not the passive recipients of emancipation; they
foughtto be free.Even then, the memorial’s meaning continued to evolve. Recent work by genealogists has revealed that Alexander was the great-great-great-grandfather of boxer Muhammad Ali, the bold and brilliant boxer who became a Muslim, inspired millions with his resistance to the American war in Vietnam, and, somehow, went from being one of the most hated men in America to one of the most celebrated in the world.
But in the case of the Emancipation Memorial, there is an alternative to toppling. We could leave it standing and surround it with new statues.Of course, none of that changes the image on the pedestal. The statue remains a fixed object, and a degrading one at that — “a black dude on his knees,” as Tory Bullock described it in a
Facebook videoin which he urged the city of Boston to remove its replica of the statue.By toppling statues, even well-intentioned ones, we assert that there’s more power in the present than the past, that the people who erect statues may be seeking permanence, but they don’t have the final word. History, as James Baldwin wrote, “is literally present in all that we do.”
TheUndefeated How can you solve it? What are the measures and methods? TheUndefeated No statues should be taken down. People need to get over it. They are a part of history. No country is perfect. We all make mistakes but it is our history that keeps us moving forward whether its positive or negative. We can learn something from each moment. HistoryMatters
TheUndefeated 美国必须学习印度，对等封杀共独的洗脑武器微信联播和斗音联播！！！ TheUndefeated So who at ABC decides what stories/history no longer deserve to be told and what statues should be “toppled”?FakeNewsMedia SJW CancelCulture TheUndefeated We live in a representative Republic. Who elected you to make decisions about public property w/o debate & vote. A Rioters Veto devolves into Stalinist & Maoist tyranny. You are Corrupt
TheUndefeated We need air strikes against Egypt to destroy statues of slave-owning pharaohs. TheUndefeated What if I don’t like your statue, can I destroy it? TheUndefeated You think? TheUndefeated NO. ALL MUST STAY. HISTORY IS VITAL. THATS THE PROBLEM TODAY. NOBODY KNOWS HISTORY TheUndefeated STATUES and Flags WORSHIP
TheUndefeated All American History stories are worth telling however some of those stories do not need statues but the stories should remain to remind us of our history
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