Should the Freedmen’s Memorial Stay or Go?Roundup
tags: memorials, Boston, emancipation
Kevin M. Levin is author of Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published.
Last night I sat in on a Boston Arts Commission meeting about Thomas Ball’s Freedmen’s Memorial located on Park Square. This is a copy of the original that was dedicated in Washington, D.C. in 1876. The memorial is once again in the news after a young Black resident called for its removal a few weeks ago. I shared my thoughts about it in a recent op-ed.
The meeting was an opportunity for residents of Boston to share their thoughts about what should be done. One of the speakers was a young Black woman who lives in an apartment next to the memorial. She described the pain of having to walk by this site every day with her young son, who constantly asks why a Black man that looks like his daddy is down on his knees in front of a white man. By this point she was in tears and her impassioned testimony almost brought me to tears.
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