By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Barriers have been erected around Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation memorial in Washington DC after protesters, angry that the freed blacks who funded the sculpture had no say in the design, have pledged to tear it down.
The Emancipation Memorial in Washington DC depicts a freed slave kneeling at Abraham Lincoln’s feet.
Critics said the statue, originally constructed in 1876 to celebrate liberation, looks more like black subservience and white supremacy in 2020.
Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist who escaped slavery, was known to have disliked the image of a black man kneeling at the feet of his white emancipator.
The Emancipation Memorial, also known as the Emancipation Group and the Freedman’s Memorial, was erected in Washington’s Lincoln Park in 1876.
A copy of the Washington statue was also installed in Boston, home to the statue’s white creator Thomas Ball, in 1879.
The Boston figure is also on the radar of campaigners and a petition is being circulated to have the memorial removed.
Protesters gathered on Tuesday to demand the removal of the original in Washington, where the Army activated about 400 unarmed National Guard personnel ahead of calls circulating on social media to tear it down on Thursday evening.
It wasn’t clear whether the protesters planned to topple the statue themselves or to demand the structure be removed by authorities.
However, on Tuesday, organizers of the protest said they would not be working with the police and would achieve change ‘by any means necessary’ as they crowded near the 150-year-old statue.