Saturday, April 7, 2012

OURStory: Black Statue of Liberty

People around the world are aware of the Statue of Liberty. It is a sight seen by many immigrant families as they sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to come to the shores of the United States.

Few people know that the original Statue of Liberty was a Black Slave in shackles!

Soulclap to Jamia Shephard and Dr. Angela Molette for bringing OURStory (not "his"-story) to our attention. Dr. Molette points out that French Abolitionists (anti-slavery proponents and supporters of John Brown) were among the monument’s creators ... and this was the most compelling and overriding reason for creating the statue as a Black slave in shackles. The idea for the Statue of Liberty was born of a shared historical connection between Egypt (the original intended recipient of the Statue) and African slaves in America for whom the tribute to liberty and freedom was delivered.

It is worth noting that the final product delivered to America had significant changes that can be attributed to white privilege, arrogance, jealousy and financial pressure. This little-known history is discussed in an entry on the original Statue of Liberty documented by Dr. Leroy Vaughn in his book, 'Black People & Their Place in World History'.

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