'Somebody Knew Them': New Monument Will Honor '(Un)Known' Enslaved People

As monuments come down around the U.S., a group in Louisville, Ky., is putting one up. An artist-run nonprofit is planning a memorial dedicated to Black people whose names have been lost to history.

8/2/2020 3:34:00 PM

An artist-run nonprofit is planning a memorial dedicated to Black people whose names have been lost to history. 'I feel with Breonna Taylor and the whole say her name campaign, it's the very same thing,' says a creative officer leading the project.

As monuments come down around the U.S., a group in Louisville, Ky., is putting one up. An artist-run nonprofit is planning a memorial dedicated to Black people whose names have been lost to history.

Poet and author Hannah Drake is working on a memorial dedicated to Black people whose names have been lost to history. She's shown above standing near the Ohio River in Louisville on July 23, 2020.Stephanie Wolf/WFPLtoggle captionStephanie Wolf/WFPL

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Poet and author Hannah Drake is working on a memorial dedicated to Black people whose names have been lost to history. She's shown above standing near the Ohio River in Louisville on July 23, 2020.Stephanie Wolf/WFPLStanding on the banks of the Ohio River looking from Kentucky across to southern Indiana, poet and author Hannah Drake thinks about the enslaved people who stood here more than a century ago.

"What did they do when they weren't working tobacco fields or hemp fields? When they wanted to escape to Indiana, what were they dreaming about?" she wonders.Kentucky claimed neutrality during the Civil War, but it was a slave state. Freedom lay on the other side of the river.

"It's just right there, you can see it," Drake says."If you just get across, then hopefully your entire life could be different."The memorial will lead people from nearby history museums to the bank of the Ohio River. There, they can sit on limestone benches looking out across the water from Kentucky to southern Indiana.

Stephanie Wolf/WFPLtoggle captionStephanie Wolf/WFPLThe memorial will lead people from nearby history museums to the bank of the Ohio River. There, they can sit on limestone benches looking out across the water from Kentucky to southern Indiana.Stephanie Wolf/WFPL

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Brilliant and thoughtful♥️ As recent events have shown, memorials and statues have a way of eventually falling out of favor. jecoreyarthur What do slaves have to do with Breonna Taylor? She had opportunities, jobs, access to schooling, but she chose the drug trade because it was easy money. Keep pushing a twisted narrative that hurts the black community.

Build it on the white house lawn! Memorials for every group please! I’d like to go back in time to like Byzantium times or so. If this memorial is to honor history, what were the other memorials? Will it include the black people killed during the riots and all the ones dead and daily dying in cities that have demoralized their police?

Should last as long as be as true as hands up don't shoot. Why does everything have to be turned into a memorial? They never teach people anything, cost a ton of money to create and maintain and over time, become invisible. Why not keep historical information in a museum? I think statues and monuments are a thing of the past.. unfortunately the environment is that if you dont like something tear it down.

This will be a symbol for virtue for the whole world! And a place for pilgrimage.......I’m SO emotional, the VIRTUE!!! So is it cool if we put one up with police officers names on it who have been killed by citizens? Or does that fit the narrative? This will be offensive in 12 years and torn down. Very good initiative, Hannah 🙏

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