Statues Out Of The Sunken Place: Why Black Women Should Be Honored
The removal of several Confederate statues across the country has forced many Americans into a reckoning with race. This national examination has led to the idea of statues honoring Black women, who are underrepresented.
For many activists, monuments celebrating African-American women are long overdue. These stories of certain African Americans should be put on full display through public fixtures, pro-Black monument advocates have said.
A” reclaiming my time” moment has swept the nation into more rallies for change. Here are recent developments that are bringing hope that there will be more statues of Black women:
Coretta Scott-King Bust Unveiled In Boston
The New England Conservatory debuted a tribute to Scott-King Tuesday (April 24) in time for the civil rights icon’s birthday on Friday (April 27). Artist MacLean Tiffany designed the “Continuation Of A Dream” bust as a way to honor the activist’s human rights and social justice work at the school, which is King’s alma mater, Boston Magazine reported.
“What she stands for—the values and beliefs that she had—very much resonate with who we are as an institution and with our student body,” Tom Novak, the interim president of NEC, said. “All this aligned to bring this statute, this bust, to us, as a way of honoring that and keeping it in our consciousness.”
Pittsburgh To Honor A Black Woman
Pittsburgh took down a racist statue of Stephen Foster, a conversational songwriter known for minstrel tunes in the 1800s, on Thursday. It had been a fixture at a city park for 118 years. The statue featured a Black slave sitting at Foster’s feet with a banjo.
“It’s the single most offensive display of public art in Pittsburgh, hands down,” Paradise Gray, a hip-hop activist, musician and writer, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August. “It permanently depicts the Black man at the White man’s feet.”
The city is looking to erect a Black women’s statue to replace Foster and is taking nominations. Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and many others would fit the bill.
Memphis Takes Down Racist Confederate Monuments
The city removed two racist statues under the cover of night after a heated debate last December. The removal of the statutes — one for Confederacy president Jefferson Davis and slave trader as well as KKK member Nathan Bedford Forrest — was the culmination of months of protest work that pushed elected officials into action.
Events in Memphis, Pittsburgh and Boston will likely lead to more proposals for empowering statues.