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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Emancipation and Freedom Monument

Gregory S. Schneider at WP:
The man stands 12 feet tall, eyes closed in what might be pain or transcendence, chains falling off his outstretched arms, scars striped across his muscled back. Opposite him, a woman on a pedestal cradles an infant and thrusts a document into the air, her face calm and resolute.

Richmond unveiled a new Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Wednesday — commemorating a far different set of rebels than the Confederate statues that have been coming down for the past year.

Just two weeks after the titanic effigy of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was removed from Monument Avenue, city and state officials dedicated a monument that honors the struggle for freedom and equality by centuries of African Americans.

In addition to the large symbolic figures, the monument features names and likenesses of five Black Virginians who fought for equal rights and five who resisted the bonds of slavery. Among the latter group are Nat Turner and the man known as Gabriel, both executed for planning or carrying out slave rebellions.