Reported by KYLE OLSON |
Despite threats to tear it down, some are noting fundraising began for the memorial when Charlotte Scott “used the first $5 she earned in freedom to kick off a fundraising campaign as a way of paying homage to Lincoln after he was assassinated in 1865,” WJLA reported.
“I’m here to speak on behalf of the legacy of Charlotte Scott,” Marcia Cole, a member of the Female RE-Enactors of Distinction, told the news station.
“I understand there’s a big campaign trying to raise money to either take it down or mend it, and I say ‘no’ on behalf of Ms. Charlotte,” she said.
“People tend to think of that figure as being servile but on second look you will see something different, perhaps,” Cole noted. “That man is not kneeling on two knees with his head bowed. He is in the act of getting up. And his head is up, not bowed, because he’s looking forward to a future of freedom.”
FREED is a part of the African American Civil War Museum.
Carolivia Herron, another member of FREED, said she believed one of her ancestors gave to create the monument. “I know she gave $5 for this,” she told the news station. “In my heart I know it. I don’t have any proof.”
She added, “There’s an intelligent, acceptable, proud way to interpret this statue. We need not be ashamed of what we came from.”
During the dedication of the statue in 1876, Frederick Douglass concluded his remarks with these words:
We have done a good work for our race to-day. In doing honor to the memory of our friend and liberator, we have been doing highest honors to ourselves and those who come after us; we have been fastening ourselves to a name and fame imperishable and immortal; we have also been defending ourselves from a blighting scandal. When now it shall be said that the colored man is soulless, that he has no appreciation of benefits or benefactors; when the foul reproach of ingratitude is hurled at us, and it is attempted to scourge us beyond the range of human brotherhood, we may calmly point to the monument we have this day erected to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
In 1974, a memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of the National Council of Negro Women, was added to Lincoln Park, according to the National Park Service.
Lincoln’s statue was turned to face Bethune.
U.S. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) supports removing the memorial.
“Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input, and it shows,” she said, according to WJLA.
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