Lincoln Statue With Kneeling Black Man Becomes Target of Protests

Lincoln Statue With Kneeling Black Man Becomes Target of Protests

Authorities gird against plan to topple Washington’s Emancipation Memorial

Crews install fencing around the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill on Thursday.PHOTO: TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY IMAGES

By Ted MannUpdated June 25, 2020 10:13 pm ET

WASHINGTON—Protesters said they are planning to topple a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the capital meant to commemorate his 1863 proclamation freeing enslaved people in the rebel states at the height of the Civil War.

The Emancipation Memorial, erected in 1876 in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, has long drawn criticism for its paternalistic imagery of a standing President Lincoln looming over a kneeling black man and his broken shackles. The planned attempt to remove the statue, originally set for Thursday, comes as protesters across the country have taken aim at statues of slave owners, Confederate leaders and purveyors of white supremacy.

The National Park Service said Thursday in response to the threats to topple the statue that it would fence off both the Emancipation Memorial and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial, across Lincoln Park, to prevent them from being damaged by protesters. Areas around the statues will be closed through the end of July, and potentially longer, “to protect these resources

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