115 Monuments About Slavery,
Serfdom & Emancipation
Click here for peace monuments related to the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Click here for monuments related to "Emancipator" Abraham Lincoln (1908-1965).
Click here for monuments related to former slave Frederick Douglass (1818-1895).
Right click image to enlarge.
Date? - St. George's Castle, Elmina (Ghana). Slave fort erected by the Portuguese in 1482. Captured by the Dutch in 1637 and by the British in the early 1870's. Now a popular historical site. Extensively restored by the Ghanaian government in the 1990's.
1920's - Cape Coast Castle Museum, Victoria Road, Cape Coast, (Ghana). "Built for the trade in timber and gold and later used in the trans-Atlantic slave trade." Swedish in 1653, then Danish, then British in 1664. Became the seat of the colonial Government of the British Gold Coast in 1844. First restored in the 1920's by the British Public Works Department." The Ghanaian government restored it again in 1957. Until 1993, part was used as a prison.
Date? - Maison des Esclaves / House of Slaves, Île de Gorée (Senegal). Frequently visited UNESCO World Heritage Site. Date? - Slavery Freedom Monument, Île de Gorée (Senegal).
N/A - Bunce Island Slave Castle, Sierra Leone River (Sierra Leone). "Where Sierra Leonean slaves skilled in rice cultivation destined for North America were held. Today little more than an abandoned set of ruins, crumbling stones clutched by ivy roots and overgrown weeds on a 500-metre strip of land in the muddy waters of the river. Opala has worked for 30 years on the links between descendants of slaves and their West African origins. 'Sierra Leone is the most frequent result for DNA tests in the U.S.,' he said."
1621 - West-Indisch Huis (West Indies House), centre of Amsterdam (Netherlands). Unintentional monument. "...was the former headquarters of the Dutch West-Indische Compagnie (West India Company or WIC), which was probably the largest single slave trader in history. The company was chartered in 1621, and provided with a monopoly on the African slave trade that lasted until 1730. This building was occupied from 1621-1647, a period which saw the first of 30,000 slaves arriving in Dutch Brazil [sic], arranged through the WIC.
About 1807 - Newton's tomb & Stained glass window depicting the 'Greyhound,' Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Olney, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (England). One of a series of stained glass windows depicting the ship "Greyhound." John Newton [1725-1807], a one time slaver, underwent religious conversion & conversion to the anti-slavery cause. His near shipwreck on the 'Greyhound' which found refuge in Londonderry (Northern Ireland) in 1748 played a part in this process. He went on to write ‘Amazing Grace.’" /// ". The Vicarage was occupied by John Newton as Curate from 1764 until 1780, when he moved to London, becoming Rector of St. Mary Woolnoth. A dormer window belongs to the study where he wrote Amazing Grace. The church contains Newton's pulpit & fine stained glass windows commemorating William Cowper [1731-1800] & Newton. In the churchyard are the graves of Newton & his wife Mary, with an interesting inscription describing himself as 'once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa...'" When was the window created?
1820 - Home of Elihu Embree [1782-1820], 142 Matthews Mill Road, Telford, Tennessee (USA). About 6 miles west of Jonesborough. Unintentional monument. Constructed about 1791. Was a hiding place for runaway slaves. Originally faced north. Upper image shows porch added to south side. Lower image shows basement once occupied by slaves. Privately owned.
Date? - "Thomas Embree Marker," Highway 353, near Telford, Washington County, Tennessee (USA). Points to home of Elihu Embree. Photo by EWL 05July2015. /// Lower image is "The Emancipator" (with introduction by Ella Pearce Buchanan & John F. Nash), Embreeville Publications, Jonesborough (1995), which contains reprints of Embree's newspaper.
Date? - "First Abolitionist Publications" marker, Jonesborough, Tennessee (USA). Honors Quaker Elihu Embree [1782-1820] who published the first newspaper in the USA dedicated entirely to the abolition of slavery. /// Lower image is grave of Elihu Embree, Embree Family Cemetery in Jonesborough. Embree died at age 38. Cemetery is "very overrun but can be walked."
1825-1828 - Nashoba Community, Wolf River, Germantown, near Memphis, Tennessee (USA). No longer exsits. Short-lived experiment of reformer Frances (Fanny) Wright [1795-1852] to train slaves for freedom. Click here for history of Wright, General LaFayette, New Harmony, Robert Dale Owen, etc. M
1950's - Nashoba Marker, Germantown, near Memphis, Tennessee (USA). The Nashoba Community was founded by Frances (Fanny) Wright [1795-1852], "a Scottish-born lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist & social reformer, who became a US citizen in 1825, the same year she founded Nashoba as a utopian community to prepare slaves for emancipation, intending to create an egalitarian place, but it lasted only three years."
After 1852 - Grave of Frances Wright, Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Avenue, Cincinnati, Hamilton County Ohio 45232 (USA). "Wright's 'Views of Society & Manners in America' (1821) brought her the most attention as a critique of the new nation." Fanny did many remarkable things: She visited Monticello with the Marquis de Lafayette, lived in New Harmony, Indiana, lectured in New York City, published a newspaper in Cincinatti, freed slaves in Haiti, bore one child out of wedlock & lived at La Grange, LaFayette's estate near Paris (France).
1826 - Levi Coffin House, Fountain City, Indiana (USA). Unintentional monument. "It is speculated that 2,000 fugitive slaves had been at the house from 1826 to 1847. Levi & Catherine Coffin moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to open a warehouse that supplied free labor businesses, at the request of fellow abolitionists. The state government of Indiana acquired the house in 1967 & opened it to the public in 1970 after restoration." 1893 - "The Underground Railroad," Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). "Just as the nadir of race relations was beginning in the early 1890s, some artists such as Charles T. Webber [1825-1911], continued to show race unity & interacial solidarity. This painting shows some famous abolitionists & activists who were conductors on the underground railroad. That’s Catharine White Coffin standing in the center with the elderly gentleman using a walking stick. Her husband Levi Coffin [1798-1877] is up high on the cart at the right. The Quaker abolitionist Hannah Haydock is on the far left with the children."
1840 - "The Slave Trade" by French painter Auguste-Francois Biard [1800-1882]. As of June 2007, it hangs at the entrance to the "From Slavery to Freedom" exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). Painting shows a slave port and slave ship, but where?
1856 - Wilberforce University, Wilburforce, Ohio (USA). "A a private, coed, liberal arts historically black university (HBCU). Affiliated with African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The first college to be owned & operated by African Americans." /// NB: Town & university "named for the English statesman William Wilberforce [1759-1833], who worked for abolition of slavery & achieved the end of the slave trade in the United Kingdom & its empire [in 1833]."
Date? - Slave Market, 122 East Bay Street (corner of East Bay & Broad Streets), Charleston, South Carolina (USA). Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon. "The SC headquarters of the Daughters of the Confederacy is upstairs today - I find it more than distasteful that this site is used for an organization which glorifies the War & its pro-slavery agenda instead of a museum to try to educate and work towards ending racial bigotry. The downstairs is still a market, but now for crafts, and is enjoyed by all Charlestonians, Black & White. Shouldn't there be a museum here somewhere to acknowledge the extreme suffering that occurred? We may have 'white-washed' the history of slavery from this place, but not from our psyche." About 1859 - Old Slave Mart Museum, 6 Chalmers Street, Charleston, South Carolina (USA). "What was then called Ryan’s Mart." Built about 1859. Thomas Satterwhite Noble’s 1867 Painting by Thomas Satterwhite Nobel.
1867 - "The Modern Medea," National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). Painting of Margaret Garner by Thomas Satterwhite Nobel [1835-1907]. Portrays a tragic event from 1856 in which Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave mother, has murdered one of her children, rather than see it returned to slavery. (This event was the inspiration for Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved.") /// "Owned by Cincinnati manufacturer Procter & Gamble Corporation, the painting was presented as a gift to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where it remains on permanent display."
After 1871 - Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley / Livingstone-Stanley Monument, Mugere (Burundi). "12 km south of the capital Bujumbura, overlooking Lake Tanganyika. Marks location where explorer and missionary Dr David Livingstone and journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley visited and spent two nights on 25-27 November 1871."
About 1882 - "The Slave Market," location unknown (in private collection). By French artist Gustave Boulanger [1824-1888]. "Depicts an Ancient Roman slave auction & shows the marketing of seven young people, ranging in age from children to young adults, as slaves... The auctioneer eats his lunch with a very casual attitude."
1985 - Franklin & Armfield Slave Market (also known as Price & Birch), 1315 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia (USA). "Still stands at this location. It was rededicated as Freedom Place in 1985, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The slave pen was one of the largest exporters of slaves to the South. The general route for slaves going South would start at the Franklin and Armfield Pen, after which slaves would then be taken to Market Square, then to the river to board ships that would take them to New Orleans, where they were dispersed to other southern areas."
N/A - Bruin's Slave Jail, 1707 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia (USA). "Joseph Bruin used this brick Federal-style dwellling as his holding facility, or 'slave jail' for slaves awaiting sale to individuals and other dealers. Bruin purchased the large house in 1844. Harriet Beecher Stowe, in The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1854), described how she employed her knowlege of Bruin's slave jail as background for her explosive 1852 novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Currently used as business offices, and is not open to the public."
1939 - Somerset Place State Historic Site, Lake Phelps, State Highway 64, 7 miles south of Creswell, North Carolina (USA). "Over the life of the plantation [1785-1865], three generations of owners, around 50 white employees, two free black employees, and more than 850 enslaved people lived and worked on the plantation." Described on pages 82-83 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004).
N/A - Slave Cabins, Kingsley Plantation, Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve, Jacksonville, Florida (USA). "A fifth of a mile from the plantation home of Zephaniah Kingsley are the remains of 23 tabby cabins. Arranged in a semicircle, there were 32 cabins originally, 16 on either side of the road. This area represents the slave community, homes of the men, women, and children who lived and worked on Kingsley Plantation more than 150 years ago."
About 1849 - Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site, Dawn, near Dresden, Kent County, Ontario (Canada). "This humble house became a crucial link in the Underground Railroad when it was settled by Josiah Henson [1789-1883], who escaped slavery in Kentucky in 1830. His autobiography in 1849 inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852. Ner novel was credited by President Abraham Lincoln as a catalyst of the American Civil War." Date? - Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Hartford, Connecticut (USA).
1856 - Wilberforce University, Wilburforce, Ohio (USA). "A a private, coed, liberal arts historically black university (HBCU). Affiliated with African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. The first college to be owned & operated by African Americans." /// NB: Town & university named for the English statesman William Wilberforce [1759-1833], who worked for abolition of slavery and achieved the end of the slave trade in the United Kingdom & its empire.
1880's - Booker T. Washington National Monument, State Highway 122, 22 miles from Roanoke, Virginia (USA). "The property evokes an 1850's middle class tobacco farm, representative of Booker T. Washington's enslaved childhood at the Burroughs farm. Following the Civil War, a patriotic organization worked to raise funds to purchase the Isaac Potts house as an historic site. By the 1880's, the house was open to the public." Described on pages 54-55 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004).
1874 - "Former Slave Market Site," Anglican Christ Church Cathedral, Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania). The sign reads: "You are now standing at the former slave market site. The world's last open slave market and notorious place, where slaves from East and Central Africa regions were bought and sold. // The trade in man [sic], women and children was stopped by decree from the Sultan of Zanziber One June 1873, following the appeal made by Dr. David Livingston in 1857 to the men of the great English universities of Oxford and Cambridge to liberate Africa from slavery. // The Cathedral Church of Christ was built by Bishop Edward Steere in 1874. The cathedral stands exactly on the site of the former slave market and the high altar marks the location of the old whipping post ! // Please purchase your ticket at the front gate to enable you to explore more about slavery and its abolition. // Enjoy your tour."
After 1874 - Slave Market, Zanzibar (Tanzania). "A monument dedicated to the memory of the inhuman situations which resulted from slavery. For ages, Zanzibar served as a transit port for African slaves going to Mauretania and the Arabic countries."
November 1835 - Wilberforce Monument, Queen's Garderns, Hull (England). "The column is 90 feet, and the statue on top is 12 feet tall, carved out of hard-wearing millstone grit. The statue was, in fact, an after-thought by the monument committee. It was sculpted by a Mr. Feort in Dock Street." Photo was taken in 1903. 1840 - Statue of William Wilberforce, Westmnster Abbey, London (England). William Wilberforce [1759-1833] was a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.. Image shows Queen Elizabeth at the statue just before a service in March 2007 marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.
1865 - Buxton Memorial Fountain, Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, Wesminster, London (England). "Commemorates the emancipation of slaves in 1834. Erected by Charles Buxton, MP, & dedicated to his father Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton. Also to abolitionists William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Henry Brougham & Stephen Lushington. Designed by Gothic architect Samuel Sanders Teulon [1812-1873]... Originally in Parliament Square, removed in 1940 & moved to its present position in 1957."
April 14, 1876 - Emancipation Memorial, Lincoln Park, East Capitol Avenue & 12th Street, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC (USA). Dedicated by Frederick Douglass & President Ulysses Grant. Sculpted by Thomas Ball. "Depicts Abraham Lincoln holding his Emancipation Proclamation and standing over Archer Alexander [1828-1880?] breaking the chains of slavery. Alexander was the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850." Right image shows this monument on the cover of "Standing soldiers, kneeling slaves: Race, war, and monument in nineteenth-century America," by Kirk Savage (1999).
1891 - Statue of John Bright, Broadfield Park, Rochdale (England). John Bright [1811-1889] was a "member of parliament for Rochdale, who fought to bring about the abolition of slavery and the slave trade." 1891 - Statue of John Bright, Albert Square, Manchester (England).
After February 20, 1895 - Grave of Frederick Douglass, Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, New York (USA). On February 20, 1895, "Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, DC. During that meeting, he was brought to the platform & given a standing ovation by the audience. Shortly after he returned home, Frederick Douglass died of a massive heart attack or stroke. His funeral was held at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church where thousands passed by his coffin paying tribute." Buried near Susan B. Anthony (qv).
1900 - Stephen Foster Statue, Carneige Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA). Includes a controversial rendering of slave "Old Black Joe" playing the banjo at the feet of the well dressed white composer Stephen Collins Foster [1826-1864]. By Giuseppe Moretti [1857-1935]. who also sculpted Vulcan (1904) in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Peace Monument (1927) in Nashville, Tennessee (qv).
May 1974 - Lucretia C. Mott historical marker, Pennsylvania highway 611 north of Cheltenham Avenue, Elkins Park, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (USA). Text: "Nearby stood 'Roadside," the home of the ardent Quakeress Lucretia C. Mott [1793-1880]. Her most notable work was in connection with antislavery women's rights, temperance and peace." Said to be the most important woman abolitionist in America.
1895? - Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, National Park Service (NPS), 1411 W Street, SE, Washngton, DC (USA). Home of former slave Frederick Douglass [1818-1895]. Described on page 21 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004). /// Click here for all Frederick Douglass monuments.
1897 - Negro Building, Tennessee Centennial Exposition (now Centennial Park), Nashville, Tennessee (USA). No longer exists. "Largest-ever display of African-American life and achievement." From dedication speech: "Here...the world may see the other side of Negro life than 'Sam Johnson, the chicken thief.' Here it may see the healthful buds of Negro handicraft, Negro art, science, literature, invention... Here... the old master who followed Lee's tattered banners... down to Appomattox sacrifices his pro-slavery ideas, and builds a monument to Negro fidelity and industry; and here the Negro brings the product of his brain and hand in grateful testimony to the friendly feelings between us."
1906 - Wilberforce House & Statue, Wilberforce House Museum, 23-25 High Street, Hull (England). "Oldest anti-slavery museum in the world... Explores the history of slavery, abolition and the legacy of slavery today. The birthplace of slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce [1759-1833]."
1914 - "Abolition of Serfdom in Russia in 1861: Freedom for Labour… A Charter for the Nation." From the cycle “The Slavonic Epic”, nr 19, by Bohemian Alfons Maria Mucha [1860-1939]. "Although the subject is one of the most contemporaneous to Mucha’s lifetime, this was one of the first of the Slav Epic canvases to be completed. Mucha visited Russia in 1913 & discovered that the great Slavic nation & ally that he so revered was in fact besieged with poverty & suffering and significantly less advanced than the rest of Europe. When Tsar Alexander II came to the throne in 1855, he instigated a number of reforms, including the Emancipation Edict in 1861 which gave Russian serfs personal freedom. For Mucha, this reform was too long overdue to be of any virtue. Uncertain of how the reform will improve their condition, Mucha’s subdued crowd of Russian peasants looks on anxiously as the official reads the edict. St. Basil’s cathedral & the Kremlin beyond are barely discernible through the thick shroud of fog which captures the uncertainty of the moment. The distant sun is just palpable through the cloud & offers a faint flicker of hope for a brighter future. Again, Mucha includes the figure of a mother & child to express both the fear & hope associated with future generations." /// Where is this painting today?
1927 - Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia (USA). The quintessential recreation of a 18th-century British capital in colonial America. Uses "living history" to portray slaves as an essential part of society. Described on pages 68-69 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004). Visited by EWL.
1955 - “The Singing Mural,” Ballroom, University Center, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA). By muralist Marion Greenwood [1909-1970]. Depicting the music, dance, and folklore of Tennessee from the Mississippi on the left to the Appalachians on the right. Minority students complained that the Black cotton picker is a slave. Mural vandalized on May 18, 1970. Has been covered since May 1972. Uncovered briefly March 15-17, 2006, when these photos were taken by the Knoxville News Sentinel.
1957 - DuSable Museum of African American History, Washington Park, 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, Illinois (USA). Includes permanet exhibit on Africa.
1965 - Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (MAAH), 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, Michigan (USA). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008).
Date? - Monumento à Mãe Preta / Monument to the Black Mother, Sao Paulo (Brazil). "Monument to black mothers. The monument is an homage to slavery and commemerates the end of slavery in Brazil."
1966 - South African Cultural History Museum, Adderley Street (the old Heerengracht), Cape Town (South Africa). Occupies former Slave Lodge completed in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch). Housed as many as 1,000 slaves. Converted to government offices in 1806 by the British. Now part of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.
Date? - Slave Memorial, Atorkor, Keta (Ghana). "Atorkor like many other places in West Africa was associated with the slave trade. Atorkor was part of what was formally known as the Upper Slave Coast. Because of its location on the Atlantic Coast it became a port for the shipment of captives procured from the interior. The monument was built a few years ago in memory of this unfortunate trade, with funds provided by a group of Anlo citizens in America." /// "...erected in one of Keta’s excellent technical colleges to remember the hardships of the slave’s journey. The memorial around the walls is a stark reminder of how the chiefs were tricked and bribed into allowing the westerners to take slaves from their tribes."
1970 - "Statue honoring Haitian unknown freedom fighter, Champs de Mars, Port-au-Prince (Haiti). Also called Negre Marron. Across from the Presidential Palace. Now surrounded by a hurricane refugee camp. /// "Uses the conch shell 'lambi/conque' to make the rallying call for freedom."
L I B R A R Y
1970 - Sojourner Truth Library (STL), State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, New Paltz, New York (USA). Named in honor of Sojourner Truth [c1797-1883], African-American abolitionist & women's rights activist, who was born into slavery in Swartekill (near Kingston), Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.
1972 - Statue of John Henry, Great Bend Railroad Tunnel, Talcott, West Virginia (USA). "The legend of John Henry, the “steel-drivin’ man” who beat the newfangled steel drill in a contest of strength & then died from exhaustion, is probably based on a real person. The statue was erected in 1972 by the Ruritan Club, then refurbished & moved closer to the tunnel entrance in 2012. Many of the workers, like John Henry, were newly-freed slaves. The legend is about both power & weakness, about persistence, about man vs. machine &, ultimately, the dignity of labor – with an African-American hero." This is "Monday's Monument" #54.
1974 - African American Museum (AAM), Dallas Fair Park, 3536 Grand Avenue, Dallas, Texas (USA). "Only museum in the Southwestern US devoted to the preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials. It also has one of the largest African American folk art collections in the US." A Smithsonian Affiliate.
1976 - Monument for Sojourner Truth, Stockade Historic District, Kingston, Ulster County, New York (USA). "A marker honoring the life of Sojourner Truth [c1797-1883] stands on the front lawn of the Ulster County Courthouse." Sojourner Truth [c1797-1883] was an African-American abolitionist & women's rights activist who was born into slavery in Swartekill (near Kingston), Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.
1976 - African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP), 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). A bicentennial project. "The first major museum in the country devoted specifically to African-American history and traditions."
1977 - "The Passage to Freedom," near Talbot Hall, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (USA). "Commemorates Oberlin as a major stop on the Underground Railroad, the secret route by which abolitionists helped slaves escape to freedom in the Civil War era. Cameron Armstrong (then a senior at Oberlin College) constructed the piece as part of a class art project."
1981 - California African American Museum (CAAM), Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, San Francisco, California (USA).
1981 - Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Memorial, City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland (USA). Child friendly bronze statues of Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley and three children. "Only memorial in the USA that commemorates the actual name and place of arrival of an enslaved African. Consists of three distinct areas: The Alex Haley sculpture group, Compass Rose, and Story Wall." Note boats in harbor.
September 21, 1983 - Slave Memorial, Mount Vernon, Virginia (USA). "A gray, truncated, granite column which represents 'life unfinished' in the center of three concentric brick circles. The three steps leading up to the column are inscribed Faith, Hope & Love -- the virtues that sustained those living in bondage. ...approximately 50 yards SW of George & Martha Washington's tomb, on a bluff above the Potomac River. This sacred ground was used as a cemetery for slaves & a few free blacks who worked at Mount Vernon in the 18th & 19th centuries. Local folklore/tradition says that the bodies were buried with their feet towards the east (the river), symbolizing their desire to return to Africa. The graves were either unmarked or the markings did not survive... Adjacent to a 1929 Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association marker noting the site of the slave burial ground."
1985 - Emancipation Statue, St. Barnabas roundabout on the ABC Highway (Barbados). "The work of Barbados' best known sculptor Karl Broodhagen. Symbolises emancipation in 1838 when over 70,000 Barbadians of African descent took to the streets singing: 'Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin (Queen Victoria). / De Queen come from England to set we free. / Now Lick an Lock-up Done Wid, Hurray fuh Jin-Jin.' Many Barbadians refer to the statue as Bussa, the slave who helped inspire a revolt against slavery in Barbados in 1816."
1985 - Tubman Museum of African American Art, History & Culture, 340 Walnut Street, Macon, Georgia (USA). Named in honor of Harriet Tubman [c1820-1913], "the courageous African American woman, known as the 'Black Moses,' who led hundreds of other slaves to freedom and served as Union spy, scout, and nurse during the Civil War." Formerly named "Harriet Tubman Center for Spiritual & Cultural Awareness." Mentioned by Tom Flores (2008).
January 11, 1990 - "Behold", Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia (USA). 12-foot statue of Kunta Kinte from the novel Roots by Alex Haley. Kinte is performing a Mandinka ceremony for his first-born, Kizzy: "Behold, the only thing greater than yourself." Sculpted by Patrick Morelli. Dedicated by Coretta Scott King. There are other Alex Haley statues in Annapolis, Maryland, & Knoxville, Tennessee, and Haley homes in Henning & Clinton, Tennessee.
Date? - Freed Slave Statue, Juffureh, James Island (The Gambia). "James Island still holds the ruins of slave fort 'James,' outside Juffureh."
N/A - Village of Juffureh, James Island (The Gambia). The village to which Alex Haley traced his ancestor Kunta Kinte. Note Freed Slave Statue at left.
Date? - Monument to the Abolition of Slavery, Matanzas (Cuba). 60 miles outside Havana. Photo shows students from Fordham University.
Date? - Gateway of No Return, Ouidah (Benin). "A massive, arched gateway, some 50 feet high, stands alone on the edge of one of the loveliest beaches in West Africa. It is a striking - and in many ways a beautiful - structure, facing out across the Atlantic Ocean towards South America. Yet it is also bleak beyond words. Etched across the top of the arch are two long lines of naked, chained men disappearing into the sea."
After 1987 - Freedman's Memorial, Uptown, Dallas, Texas (USA). "$2 million monument tm. With accompanying historical notes & 16 pages of photographs." /// "Arranged like a travel guide. Provides historic reference to over 200 landmark homes, institutions, buildings & markers relating to the Underground Railroad." /// Charles L. Blockson is founder & curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of rare texts, slave narratives, art & a host of other artifacts significant in African-American history at Temple University. /// Image on cover is detail of Harriet Tubman [1822-1913] from the Underground Railroad Memorial in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Sept. 19, 1990 - Concert Street Liverpool (England). One of 3 originals. Others in Belfast & Glasgow. 2007 Liverpool (England). Miniatures cast on 20th anniversary of the Slave Trade Act. 2007? Cotonou? (Benin). A former source of slaves. March 30, 2007 Richmond, Virginia (USA). On site of a former slave market.
1994 - Underground Railroad Memorial, near W.K. Kellogg Manor House, off of West Van Buren Street, Battle Creek, Michigan (USA). "The nation's largest monument to the Underground Railroad. The 28 foot long & 14 foot high bronze statue was made possible by the generosity of the WK Kellogg Foundation & Glenn A. Cross Estate. The lovely park like setting with flower-lined pathways showcases the beauty of the statue. A information kiosk is on site to provide information. Honors the men & women who operated the Underground Railroad. Foremost figures are Harriet Tubman [1822-1913] & Erastus Hussey [1800-1889], a local "conductor" of the Underground Railroad. (Sarah Hussey is one of the figures on the side of the memorial.) Harriet Tubman never came to Battle Creek." /// See paper by Anthony Patrick Glesner (1995). N.B.: Ed Dwight [b.1933] also sculpted the Alex Haley-Kunta Kinte Memorial, City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1981, "Gateway to Freedom," Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan, in 2001, & "Tower of Freedom," 100 Pitt Street East, Windsor, Ontario (Canada) in 2001.
February 1994 - "Hippocrene Guide to the Underground Railroad" by Charles L. Blockson. "A collection of letters, diaries & narratives of slaves who found freedom, including Henry 'Box' Brown, who nailed himself into a box & had it shipped to Phildelphia; William & Ellen Craft, who posed as master & slave & traveled openly out of the South; & a young woman who escaped with the help of Union soldiers by dressing as one of them. With accompanying historical notes & 16 pages of photographs." /// "Arranged like a travel guide. Provides historic reference to over 200 landmark homes, institutions, buildings & markers relating to the Underground Railroad." /// Charles L. Blockson is founder & curator of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of rare texts, slave narratives, art & a host of other artifacts significant in African-American history at Temple University. /// Image on cover is detail of Harriet Tubman [1822-1913] from the Underground Railroad Memorial in Battle Creek, Michigan.
November 1995 - Porte du Non-Retour/Door of No Return, Ouidah (Benin). "The last place the slaves of Benin passed before entering the slave ships. The city is famous for its Slave Route, which traces the journey of slaves from the center of the city to the port." /// "Designed & ornamented by Beninese artist Fortuné Bandeira. Evokes the monumental Soviet aesthetics.Aims to mark the place where slaves were embarked to the Americas. Yves Appolinaire Pédè made the cement bas-reliefs onto the platform and the sculptures depicting the Egun-guns, while the artist Dominique Kouass conceived the four metal sculptures representing the families of captives. Although the bas-reliefs represent slaves in chains—very near to the stereotype—the text engraved on the plate identifying the monument does not mention slavery, slaves, or the Slave Route Project."
February 1998 - Alex Haley Statue, Alex Haley Heritage Square, Morningside Park, 1600 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee (USA). Child friendly 13-foot bronze statue designed by sculptress Tina Allen depicting Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley, author of the novel Roots, who lived in nearby Clinton, Tennessee.
1980's - Alex Haley Home & Museum (plus historical marker & grave), 200 South Church Street, Henning, Tennessee (USA). "Built in 1919 by Will E. Palmer, the maternal grandfather of Alex Haley [1921-1992]. From 1921 to 1929, & during some subsequent summers, Haley lived here with his grandparents. It was on the porch of this house that Haley heard from his grandmother the family stories that inspired him to write Roots: The Saga of an Amerian Family, retelling tales of his African ancestors who were brought to America as slaves. The work won him the 1976 Pulitzer Prize, and the book was presented in an eight- part television adaptation in 1977. Haley is buried on the grounds" (lower right image).
After 1987 - Freedman's Memorial Arch, Freedman's Memorial Cemetery, Central Expressway & Lemmon Avenue, Dallas, Texas (USA). "$2 million monument to Freedman's Town, where freed slaves settled after the Civil War. Its cemetery had disappeared beneath white urban expansion in the 1950's. After utility crews rediscovered the site of an estimated 4,500 graves in 1987, the state began a partial re-interment and started building the memorial...The monument is truly multicultural. Artist David Newton created the bronze sculptures outside the entry, marked with granite arches and an iron gate. Poems are etched into a sunken circle at the memorial's center, and essays by Dallas schoolchildren grace the gate's outside pillars."
May 22, 1998 - Anse Cafard Slavery Memorial, Anse Cafard. Le Diamant (Martinique). Also called "Cap 110." "Commemorates the 150th anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the French West Indies. Comprised of 20 large, hulking figures bearing stoic, brooding expressions, each 8 feet tall. Shoulders hunched & heads bowed, the figures stare out to the sea from what is an otherwise pleasant and breezy grassy field... On the night of April 7, 1830, a ship carrying a cargo of Africans sank in the rocky waters off the coast of Le Diamant. More than 40 would-be slaves, shackled together in the ship’s hull, drowned. The tragedy is artfully memorialized by Martinican sculptor Laurent Valére. The statues, composed of cast concrete & sand, are arranged in a triangle in reference to the triangular trade. They’re also standing at an angle of 110º directly in line with the Gulf of Guinea."
1998 - Bristol Slave Trade Trail, Bristol (England). "This is a town trail with a difference. It aims to show you what the handsome squares and quaint buildings of a pleasant English city have to do with one of the ugliest and most destructive events in human history... the Transatlantic slave trade." Route available from Museum Shop, City Museum & Art Gallery, Queen's Road, Bristol.
October 3, 1998 - Statue of Tula, Bazjan Karpata & Sablika, near Holiday Beach Hotel, South Coast (Curaçao). Also called "Monument to End Slavery." Depicts Tula & rebel slaves. This is the site where Tula was executed on October 3, 1795.
September 25, 1999 - Sojourner Truth Monument, Battle Creek, Michigan (USA). 12-foot high sculpture. Sojourner Truth [c1797-1883] was born into slavery & became an abolitionist & women's rights activist. /// Info courtesy of Mark Lambert, Cereal City Books, Battle Creek, Michigan, Nov. 23, 2011. N.B.: Tina Allen [1950-2008] also sculpted A. Philip Randolph (Boston, 1986), George Washington Carver (St. Louis), Martin Luther King Jr. & Charles Drew (Los Angeles, 1998) & Alex Haley (Knoxville, 1998).
2000 - "Freedom Schooner Amistad," New Haven, Connecticut (USA). La Amistad (Spanish for "Friendship") was a ship taken over in July 1839 by African captives being transported from Havana to Puerto Principe, Cuba. The Africans & the ship were later captured off Long Island by the US Revenue Cutter Service, La Amistad became a symbol in the movement to abolish slavery, and a US Supreme Court case over the status of the Africans took place in 1841, as importation of slaves into the US had been prohibited since 1808." "In 1998-2000, Mystic Seaport built a recreation christened "Freedom Schooner Amistad." The ship's mission is to educate the public on the history of slavery, discrimination, and civil rights. Her homeport is New Haven, where the Amistad trial took place. She also travels to other port cities for educational opportunities."
2001 - Jerry Rescue Monument, Clinton Square, Syracuse, New York (USA). By Sharon BuMann, "professional sculptor from Pennellville." "Commemmorates the rescue on October 1, 1851, of a fugitive slave by the name of Jerry (also known by the name of William Henry) by abolishionists... Jerry was eventually taken by wagon to Oswego, where he safely crossed Lake Ontario & into Canada."
October 20, 2001 - Gateway to Freedom, Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan (USA). Depicts a group of slaves on US soil looking towards Canada and freedom. Detroit was on the central route to freedom, the "underground railroad." Sculpted by Ed Dwight. A collaboration of "Detroit 300" & the International Underground Railroad Monument Collaborative.
October 20, 2001 - Tower of Freedom, 100 Pitt Street East, Windsor, Ontario (Canada). "Faces the Gateway to Freedom monument across the Detroit River and together are called the International Memorial to the Underground Railroad. A 22 foot tower with a bronze Flame of Freedom created by Denver based sculptor Ed Dwight. The monument honours the harrowing journey made by thousands in search of freedom and pays tribute to Ontario’s role in the Underground Railroad."
June 2002 - Slavery & Civil War Museum, 1410 Water Avenue, Selma, Alabama (USA). An affiliate of the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute. Visited by EWL.
2002 - "Shared Past, Common Future," Nationaal Monument Slavernijverleden / National Slavery Monument, Oosterpark, Amsterdam (Netherlands). By Surinamese born artist Erwin Jules de Vries. "Commemorates the abolition of slavery in the Netherlands in 1819."
July 27, 2002 - African American Slavery Monument, Rousakis Plaza, River Street, Savannah, Georgia (USA). "11-12' high. Depicts a black family caught in a tight embrace with broken shackles at their feet. Inscription by poet Maya Angelou: "We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy."
August 2004 - National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). Interprets the Underground Railroad and "pays tribute to all efforts to abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people." Described on pages 348-349 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004). One of 27 US museums in "Museums for Peace Worldwide" edited by Kazuyo Yamane (2008). to see Wikipedia article.
October 14, 2004, & April 19, 2005 - Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, Springfield, Illinois (USA). Displays all aspects of Lincoln's life & presidency, includind the emacipation of American slaves.
June 25, 2005 - Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, 830 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland (USA). "Sharing the courageous journeys toward freedom and self-determination made by African American Marylanders." A Smithsonian Affiliate.
2005 - Unsung Founders Memorial, University of North Carolina, Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, North Crolina (USA). "This memorial in honor of the slaves on whose back the greatness of US society was built is situated in a prominent location on one of the main university lawns... The fact that this is 'allowed' to be exhibited so prominently is a sign that the caucasian mainstream US is willing to come to terms with its past. It's a small step, yet nevertheless a step in the right direction."
2005 - Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD), 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, California (USA). Permanent Exhibitions: * CELEBRATIONS: RITUALS AND CEREMONY * MUSIC OF THE DIASPORA * CULINARY TRADITIONS * ADORNMENT * SLAVERY PASSAGES * THE FREEDOM THEATER * AFRICAN ORIGINS MAP
2005 - "Captured Africans," St. George's Quay, Lancaster (England). "Inaugurated in September 2002, STAMP (Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project) was an ambitious arts education outreach project which culminated in a permanent memorial to Lancaster's role in the slave trade in 2005." Lancaster was the UK's 4th largest slave port.
2006 - "Underground Railroad Bicycle Route," Adventure Cycling Association. "Exploring the route to freedom" from Mobile, Alabama (USA) to Owen Sound, Ontario (Canada).
March 25, 2007 - Wilberforce House, High Street, Kingston upon Hull (England). "Birthplace of William Wilberforce [1759-1833], the famous abolitionist & MP who was most influential in the abolition of slavery, which became his life's work. Like the nearby Blaydes House & Maister House, formerly a Merchant's house with access to quayside on the River Hull. Part of Hull's Museum Quarter incorporating the Nelson Mandela garden (qv). Now a museum which re-opened on 25 March 2007 after a two-year £1.6 million redevelopment, in time for the 200th anniversary of Wilberforce's Act of Parliament abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire. The new exhibition has a broad focus on the history of slavery in addition to materials relating to the life & work of Wilberforce. The front garden contains a statue of Wilberforce which underwent a £10,000 restoration to preserve it in 2011. Adjoining the site is the University of Hull's Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery & Emancipation which conducts research into historic & contemporary forms of slavery."
2007 - "Gift of Cain," Fen Court, off Fenchurch Street, London (England). " Incorporates 17 cylindrical granite columns erected before a granite platform." Marks the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. Sculpted by Michael Visocchi who worked with Lemin Sissay, whose poem combines stock exchange jargon with the Biblical story of Cain & Abel and referecnes to William Wilberforce [1759-1833]. Unveiled by Desmond Tutu. John Newton [1725-1807] preached in the nearby church of St. Mary Woolnoth. Info courtesy of Valerie Flessati (2012). This is 1 of 45 monuments in her "Peace Trails through London," page 15.
August 22, 2007 - International Slavery Museum, Liverpool (England). Has three main galleries: Life in West Africa, Enslavement and the Middle Passage, and Legacies of Slavery. One of ten "musuems for peace" in the UK (vs. more than 200 in the USA).
October 2007 - Swing Low: A Memorial to Harriet Tubman, Harriet Tubman Square, 122nd Street, St. Nicholas Avenue & Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York City, New York (USA). Former slave Harriet Tubman [1820-1913] was an abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War.
2008 - Slavery Memorial, Place du Général Catroux, 17th arrondissement, Paris (France). Dedicated to Thomas Alexandre Dumas, the General-in-Chief, French Army. (Dumas was the son of a slave & the first general of Afro-Caribbean descent to serve in the French army.) The artist's name is Driss Sans-Arcidet, alias Musee Khombol.
Septembrer 24, 2008 - Slave Memorial, Church Square, Cape Town (South Africa). "Collaborative work with Wilma Cruise. Eleven granite blocks. Their common ‘foot print’ represents our common humanity; their different heights represent growth, and the importance we attach to the youth of South Africa; they too need to be able to read the texts engraved on the surface of the blocks. The two blocks on the raised plinth are engraved with the names of the enslaved... The other nine blocks are engraved with words from the slave period in South Africa, 1652 to 1834-8... Thus the memorial is characterized by silence — silence in the face of the abomination that was slavery... Their weighty presence elicits the memory of the slaves that were sold, tortured & suffered at Church Square."
October 31, 2008 - Last Slave Hut in Barbados, Rock Hall Freedom Village (Barbados). Newspaper headline: "How Screwed Up Is This Place? Barbados Government Workers Accidentally Demolish Last Slave Hut - After Being Informed Not To By Member Of Parliament."
March 2012 - Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, Quai de la Fosse, Nantes (France). On the Loire riverfront in the center of the city, this memorial, designed by Wodiczko + Bonder, is a metaphorical & emotional evocation of the struggle for the abolition of slavery. With the aim of being above all historic, the project still continues into the present & proposes a physical transformation & symbolic reinforcement of 350 meters of the coast of the Loire. This working memorial includes the adaptation of a pre-existing underground residual space, a product of the construction of the Loire embankments & port during the XVIII, XIX, and XX Centuries..." /// "Thousands of small glass plates litter the ground, like the many slave ships which left Nantes during the 18th & 19th centuries originating in the deportation of 550,000 prisoners to American colonies. Huge panels of glass slice through the slab like giant blades. The insistent lapping of The Loire river allows time for meditation."
September 27, 2014 - Slavery Memorial, Front Green, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (USA). "Granite and ductile cast iron. Recognizes Brown University’s connection to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the work of Africans and African-Americans, enslaved and free, who helped build our university, Rhode Island, and the nation."
December 7, 2014 - Whitney Plantation, 5099 Highway 18, Wallace, Louisiana (USA). 35 miles west of New Orleans. "Visitors [are] in agreement that they [have] never seen anything quite like it. Built largely in secret & under decidedly unorthodox circumstances, the Whitney had been turned into a museum dedicated to telling the story of slavery — the first of its kind in the United States."
July 10, 2015 - Confederate Battle Flag , State House, Columbia, South Carolina (USA). Permanentlhy removed from capitol grounds following murder of nine Blacks at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, on June 17, 2015. /// Followed, later in 2015, by a decision of the City of New Orleans to remove three Confederate monuments.
March 25, 2015 - "The Ark of Return / L'Arc de Retour," United Nations Headquarters, New York City, New York (USA). "Constructed completely from white marble. Resembles a ship -- a reference to the cramped, inhumane slaving vessels that transported African people as human commodities between continents. Inside the gargantuan structure lies a prone figure draped in white. Underneath, the words “Consider the legacy” are etched in the marble. On the outside are sketches that include maps of the triangular slave trade, slave ships & diagrams of the inside of the ships used to carry slaves." Designed by Haitian-American arthitect Rodney Leon. Dedicated "À l’occasion de la Journée internationale de commémoration des victimes de l’esclavage et de la traite transatlantique des esclaves" by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon & General Assembly President Sam Kutesa.
December 12, 2013 - "Warehouses Used in the Slave Trade," 122 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Outside the Equal Justice Initiative building (once a slave warehouse). One of a series of markers for slavery & lynching by The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). Bryan Stevenson seen in image. December 12, 2013 - "Montgomery's Slave Traders," 300 Water Street, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). Outside Union Station. "Describes the slave trade both by ship & by train." One of a series of markers for slavery & lynching by The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).
December 11, 2015 - "Lynching in America," Brighton, Alabama (USA). One of a series of markers for slavery & lynching by The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). July 31, 2016 - "Lynching at Letohatchee," Letohatchee, Lownes County, Alabama (USA). One of a series of markers for slavery & lynching by The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) -- this one for 14 documented lynchings in Lownes County. SLAVERY 2016 MARKERS
September 24, 2016 - National Musuem of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), Smithsonian Institution, The Mall, Washington, DC (USA). Under discussion since 1915. Architectural design announced April 14, 2009. "Memorializes & honors the victims of slavery & provides their descendants a concrete place for remembrance & reflection. A place of refuge & introspection for all people to contemplate the past, present & future with the hope of finding answers & hope." Described on page 14 of "A Traveller's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement" by Jim Carrier (2004).
January 12, 2017 - Reconstruction Era National Monument, Beaufort County, South "Carolina (USA). "Commemorates a post-Civil War community of freed slaves [the Penn Center]" & possibly the Brick Baptist Church, the Robert Smalls house, the site at the Naval Hospital in Port Royal (where the Emancipation Proclamation was read publicly to great fanfare on New Year’s Day 1863), and the old firehouse in downtown Beaufort." /// One of 5 new national monuments decreed at the same time by outgoing President Barak Obama under the Antiquities Act of 1906.
March 11, 2017 - Hariet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitors Center, Church Creek, Eastern Shore, Maryland (USA). "A $21 million project that commemorates Tubman’s journey, from slave to Underground Railroad 'conductor' &, later in life, Civil War scout, spy & nurse. Sitting on 17 acres, the center will be part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile self-guided driving tour that wends through 36 significant sites along the Eastern Shore." A partnership of the National Park Service & the Maryland State Park Service, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center. "Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is a new park contained within the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Monument."
2018? - Memorial to Peace and Justice, Montgomery, Alabama (USA). A national memorial to victims of lynching & a museum that explores African American history "from enslavement to mass incarceration" will be situated within 150 yards of one of the South's most prominent slave auction sites & the Alabama River dock & rail station where tens of thousands of enslaved black people were trafficked. To be built & operated by The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) (headed by Bryan Stevenson). Will contain high-tech exhibits, artifacts, recordings & films, as well as comprehensive data & information on lynching & racial segregation [&] will connect the history of racial inequality with contemporary issues of mass incarceration, excessive punishment & police violence." /// Right image shows sites of 4,075 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in 12 southern states between 1877 & 1950.
Future - US National Slavery Museum, 1320 Central Park Boulevard (Suite 251), Fredericksburg, Virginia (USA). Designed by C. C. Pei. "Will offer 100,000 feet [sic] of permanent and temporary exhibit space. Exhibits will take visitors on a journey through time, beginning with Africa as the cradle of civilization through the Middle Passage on slave ships, to the slave resistance movement, the Civil War and the continuing struggle for equality today." Please email your comments & questions to geovisual at comcast.net. Thank you.
Return to Peace Monuments main page.