Lincoln Statute in Boston’s Park Square is Coming Down.
The times, they are a-changing. The statute of Abraham Lincoln often called the Emancipation Group Statue and also known by the name the Emancipation Memorial Statue will be coming down after a petition for its removal received 12,000 signatures in 3 weeks according to reporting by Bostonmagazine.com. The statue, which has Abraham Lincoln standing over a black man has an inscription that states, “A race set free/ and the country at peace/ Lincoln /Rests from his labors.” Well, the country is certainly not at peace at the moment.
According to Bostonmagazine.com’s reporting, Mayor Walsh said in a press release about the Boston Art Commission’s unanimous decision for its removal, “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.” Ekua Holmes, Vice-Chair of the Boston Art Commission said of the piece in a statement “What I heard today is that it hurts to look at this piece, and in the Boston landscape, we should not have works that bring shame to any groups of people.”
As of yet, no date is set for the statue’s removal. The statue was erected in 1879. While the process to decide its fate took time, it seems that people that supported the statue’s removal went through the right channels. Boston Magazine reports that Tory Bullock, a local artist, posted a video to his Facebook page which has been viewed over 48,000 times in which he provides information on the way the men in the statue are depicted and how it does not promote equality. Bullock explains in the video “Is that image of a Black dude on his knees… does that make you feel powerful? Does that make you feel respected? Does that make you feel good?” However you feel about the statue’s removal, at least it wasn’t torn down in a riot. People talked about it; people are listening to each other. Communication is the key.