[I’ve snipped this for brevity; the full story I’m discussing is here -wyveraryborealis]
Oh my god! Im not American but this shocks me. How can this not be known? & why does it not have many reblogs?
Happy 4th of July, errybody.
So, ok. I did some research here because the art in the statue on the left seemed awfully modern to have been done in the 18th century, and that raised a red flag. The style just didn’t quite fit. It also seemed to pretty clearly be a reference to an iconic representation of escaping slaves prior to the American Civil War, and the Ellis Island statue may have been dedicated shortly after that war, but it was being built before it. That a statue would have been made prior to emancipation based on what is only now part of our national memory (and then just barely) seemed unlikely.
The story itself may be true and certainly wouldn’t be out of character or anything, but that particular statue is in St Maarten (Caribbean Islands) and was built to honor the 159th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was created by Theodore Bonev (still alive) and was unveiled in 2007, 232 years after the statue on Ellis Island was dedicated. You can see Lady Liberty in context here. I’m not sure what’s going on with the background there, but I’m guessing it was taken before the garden grew up around her.
There’s also this article: National Park Service Summary Report: Black Statue of Liberty, in which the NPS debunked this story in pieces, but obviously they have interest in maintaining the popular narrative, so take it as you will.
God bless librarians. We have enough real shit to get angry about — there’s no shortage of ingrained racism, sexism, and general prickishness, so I’m relieved that at least this once it was not true.
Ah knowledge and research, is there anything you can’t beat to death.