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Boston Removes Slave statue of President Lincoln After 141 years

The Emancipation Group Memorial was removed from Park Square, Dec. 29, 2020.(WBZ-TV)

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The Emancipation Group Memorial was removed from Park Square, Dec. 29, 2020.(WBZ-TV)

The “Emancipation Group” statue has stood in Park Square since 1879. The Boston Art Commission voted to remove it in June after two public hearings and hundreds of letters and survey responses.

The petition to remove the statue was spearheaded by an African American man from Boston named Tory Bullock who says he’s been seeing the statue since he was a kid.

“It says that it’s a statue that’s supposed to represent freedom. But, to me, it represents submissiveness,” Bullock said. “It represents: ‘Know your place because that’s where you belong.'”

The statue is a replica of one in Washington, DC, and it’s been controversial since its installation in 1876 for how it portrays the freed slave.

“We’re pleased to have taken it down this morning,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement to CNN.

“As expressed by so many during the public process this year, we fully agree that the statue should be relocated to a new publicly accessible location where its history and context can be better explained,” the spokeswoman said. “The decision for removal acknowledges the statue’s role in perpetuating harmful prejudices and obscuring the role of Black Americans in shaping the nation’s fight for freedom.”

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