Joseph Ax, Reuters, September 22, 2021
Two weeks after Richmond, Virginia, removed a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that had prompted protests over racial injustice, the city unveiled a new monument on Wednesday commemorating the end of slavery.
The Emancipation and Freedom Monument, designed by Oregon sculptor Thomas Jay Warren, comprises two 12-foot bronze statues depicting a man and a woman carrying an infant, newly freed from slavery.
“The enslaved built this city with their hands,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said at a ceremony to mark the occasion. “We will rebuild this city with our hearts.”
The pedestal features the names and biographies of 10 Black Virginians who contributed to the fight for liberty before and after emancipation, including Nat Turner, who led a briefly successful slave revolt in 1831 in the state, and Dred Scott, a slave whose unsuccessful lawsuit seeking his freedom led to the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1857 that people of African descent were not entitled to citizenship.