Black Conservatives Rebuke Call To Remove D.C.’S Emancipation MemorialBreaking News
tags: racism, emancipation, monuments
Beneath the feet of Abraham Lincoln and the bent knees of the formerly enslaved man depicted in the statue at the center of Lincoln Park, handwritten notes and protest signs have been pinned to the black fence that has for weeks encircled the figures — protecting it against any efforts to tear down the monument.
On Tuesday, as Prince songs filled the open air and a small crowd donning “Make America Great Again” apparel gathered around the statue, William B. Allen affixed two more pieces of paper to the fence: On one was a photograph of an African sculpture depicting a crouching lion. On the other, a real lion reared back on its hind legs, ready to pounce.
These photographs, Allen told the crowd, show the same motion in which the enslaved man of the controversial Emancipation Memorial was frozen.
“African art contains the symbol of the crouching lion in order to convey the prospect of the pouncing king. See how strongly Archer Alexander’s figure resembles the crouching lion, whether in photograph or in stone,” said Allen, a professor of political philosophy at Michigan State University. “So let those who think this is a degrading figure, rethink.”
That is not how everyone sees it.
Critics say the District’s Emancipation Memorial — which shows Lincoln holding a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation as an African American man in a loincloth kneels at his feet — is demeaning and suggests African Americans were not active contributors to the cause of their own freedom, remaining subservient even after they were released from their bonds.
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