[Photo by Flickr user yeowatzup]
Okay, so Emancipation Day (at least in D.C.) was last Wednesday and Earth Day is today, but there's no Earth Day Memorial in the city and there is an Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park. In theory, a memorial recognizing President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation which freed all enslaved persons is a great idea, but this statue, built in 1876, is one of the most controversial in the city. Even at the time of its dedication, Frederick Douglass, who spoke at the ceremony, said that the kneeling position of the ex-slave (based on Archer Alexander) in the monument was not terribly indicative of freedom. This is all the more sticky since the $50,000 monument was paid for entirely by freed slaves. To this day, historians say that the Memorial echoes the spirit of racism prevalent in the country at the time.
· Emancipation Day: Washington, D.C. [Wikipedia]
· Emancipation Memorial [Wikipedia]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]