Boston has removed a statue of Abraham Lincoln that celebrated the emancipation of slaves — simply because he was white.

The statue, called The Emancipation Memorial, featured a freed slave kneeling before Lincoln. It is a copy of the statue in Washington, DC, which Frederick Douglass spoke at the dedication of in 1876.

The bronze statue is inscribed with the text: “A race set free and the country at peace. Lincoln rests from his labors.”

The statue was reportedly inspired in part by Archer Alexander, a Black man who escaped slavery and went on to help the Union Army. He was the last man recaptured under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

The Boston Arts Commission in July voted to remove the statute from public grounds over criticism that it “misrepresented” U.S. history and “minimized” Black Americans’ role in the abolition movement and Civil War.


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“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 (D) said in the statement at the time.

Democrats have been attempting to have the statue in DC removed as well.

The monuments depict a shirtless man — a freed slave — rising to his feet, shaking off shackles on his wrist before Lincoln. But…critics of the statue see the monuments as a slight to freed slaves. They argue the statues depict a slave kneeling before his white emancipator and that this shows or implies that black people are inferior to white people.

What historic statue will Democrats attempt to deface and remove next? Share your thoughts.

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