A History Lesson
It is hard to believe that after my many
years of schooling
(secondary and post) the following facts about the Statue of Liberty
never taught. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people including
myself have visited the Statue of Liberty over the years but yet I'm
to find one person who knows the true history behind the Statue-
Yes, amazing that so much important Black history (such as this) is
from us (Black and White). What makes this even worse is the fact that
the current twist on history perpetuates and promotes white supremacy
the expense of Black Pride.
During my visit to France I saw the original
Liberty. However there was a difference, the statue in France is Black.
The Statue of Liberty was originally a Black woman, but, as memory
it was because the model was Black.
In a book called "The Journey of The Songhai
according to Dr. Jim Haskins, a member of the National Education
Committee of the Liberty-Ellis Island Committee, professor of English
the University of Florida, and prolific Black author, points out that
stimulated the original idea for that 151 foot statue in the harbor.
He says that what stimulated the idea for
of the statue initially was the part that Black soldiers played in the
ending of Black African Bondage in the United States. It was created in
the mind of the French historian Edourd de Laboulaye, chairman of the
Anti-Slavery Society, who, together with sculptor Frederic Auguste
to the French government that the people of France present to the
of the United States through the American Abolitionist Society, the
of a Statue of Liberty in recognition of the fact that Black soldiers
the Civil War in the United States.
It was widely known then that it was Black
played the pivotal role in winning the war, and this gift would be a
to their prowess. Suzanne Nakasian, director of the Statue of Liberty,
Ellis Island Foundations' National Ethnic Campaign said that the Black
Americans' direct connection to Lady Liberty is unknown to the majority
of Americans, BLACK or WHITE.
When the statue was presented to the U.S.
France in 1884, it is said that he remonstrated that the dominant view
of the broken hackles would be offensive to a U.S. South, because since
the statue was a reminder of Blacks winning their freedom. It was a
to a beaten South of the ones who caused their defeat, their despised
Documents of Proof:
1.) You may go and see the original
the Statue of Liberty, with the broken chains at her feet and in her
hand. Go to the Museum of the City of NY, Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street
write to Peter Simians and he can send you some documentation.
2.) Check with the N.Y. Times magazine,
part II_May 18,
1986. Read the article by Laboulaye.
3.) The dark original face of the Statue
of Liberty can
be seen in the N.Y. Post, June 17, 1986, also the Post stated the
for the broken chains at her feet.
4.) Finally, you may check with the French
the French Embassy at the U.N. or in Washington, D.C. and ask for some
original French material on the Statue of Liberty, including the
You can call in September (202)
944-6060 or 6400. Please
pass this information along!
The official view, as taught to American
for the past hundred years, holds that Lady Liberty was originally
to commemorate the friendship forged between the United States and
during the Revolutionary War. By 1903, when the statue was
with Me Lazarus's poetic words, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your
masses yearning to breathe free," it had come to symbolize America's
as a safe haven for refugees and immigrants from every corner of the
Does The Statue of Liberty Celebrates
There is strong evidence that the original
the Statue of Liberty was to celebrate the end of American slavery.
De Laboulaye, the head of the French Anti-Slavery Society and an ardent
supporter of the Northern cause during the Civil War, conceived the
of the Statue in 1865. This was a momentous year: it saw the successful
conclusion of the War with the victory of the Union, the assassination
of President Abraham Lincoln who had signed the Emancipation
and, closest to De Laboulaye's heart, the destruction of the slavery he
detested. De Laboulaye's intent was to create a monument that
these events, a gift of France to the United States that would also
the friendship of two great freedom-loving nations.
De Laboulaye collaborated with Auguste
Bartholdi, a designer
of colossal monuments, who adapted his rejected proposal for a great
in Egypt to his plan for what became the Statue of Liberty. An early
of the Statue shows her left hand extended and holding broken chains.
was eliminated in the final construction, but broken shackles still
at Liberty's feet, clear evidence of the Statue's anti-slavery
When Liberty was erected in New York harbor
in 1886, time
had diminished the power of the events that prompted De Laboulaye's
vision. Particularly, the nation's commitment to African American freed
people had so faded that no one was interested in emphasizing the
celebration of abolition. Also, this period saw the beginning of the
of tens of millions of Europeans, welcomed to America by the massive
holding aloft the welcoming light of freedom. The Statue took on this
meaning, and has sustained that noble representation for over 100
Unfortunately, the original symbolism of 1865 has been, to use Prof.
Logan's description of much of African American history, "lost,