A monument to white supremacy stands uncontested in our own back yard

What, if anything, are we going to do about it?

The Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. An exact replica sits in Boston's Lincoln Square.

The Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. An exact replica sits in Boston's Lincoln Square.

After Charlottesville and amidst the debate over statues of Lee, Davis and other confederate monuments, I came across an image of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C. The striking monument features a stately Abraham Lincoln standing over an unnamed, nearly-naked black man who is kneeling at his feet. Newly emancipated, the man’s shackles have been broken, but its manacles still decorate his wrists. Lincoln’s left arm is extended over the man’s head, ostensibly bestowing freedom upon him. Yet, Lincoln’s hand is facing downward as one would when tousling a child’s hair, or worse, petting an animal. Indeed, at just the right angle, that’s exactly as it appears.

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