According to cnn.com, a statue depicting a formerly enslaved man kneeling before President Abraham Lincoln in a park in Boston, MA, will be removed.
After two public hearings, the Boston Art Commission voted to remove the Emancipation Group, a statue installed in 1879 in Boston’s Park Square, according to a statement announcing the removal.
The statue is a replica of one in Washington DC, and has been controversial since its installation for the depiction of the freed slave.
The statue features Archer Alexander, a Black man who “assisted the Union Army, escaped slavery, and was recaptured under the Fugitive Slave Act,” the statement says.
The vote follows a nationwide movement calling for the removal of monuments that celebrate the Confederacy or viewed as racist.
“For generations, Bostonians have called for its removal due to its racist depiction of a Black person. Many also feel it implies that one person ended slavery and misrepresents the complexity of United States history,” the statement said.
The statue has always been criticized, but a petition started in early June renewed interest in its removal.
Tory Bullock, a Boston area actor and activist, launched the petition with the intention of getting 1,000 signatures, but quickly surpassed that goal. Currently, the petition has over 12,000 signatures.
Bullock was inspired by the social and cultural moment that Black Lives Matter protests created and felt this was a good time to reintroduce the issue.
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