‘Blank Slate’: Monument on display at Civil Rights Memorial Center honors Black suffering, endurance and hope


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By Rhonda Sonnenberg, SPLC

The Blank Slate Monument shows a mother and child being supported by a Union soldier and an enslaved person. (Credit: Motherland Media)

Sometimes the open hand of history reaches down through the ages, grabs onto unwitting messengers and erupts in riveting artwork that becomes the perfect symbol for an entire people’s suffering – a eulogy to human tragedy beyond comprehension. Picasso’s Guernica comes to mind.

Ghanaian artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo’s Blank Slate Monument, a statue conceived as a figurative protest to the United States’ Confederate monuments, qualifies as such art.

The statue will be unveiled today at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC) in Montgomery, Alabama.

Rising 16 feet tall and weighing 750 pounds, the Blank Slate Monument has three connected figures that capture the excruciating history of African Americans, from enslavement through the Civil War and the civil rights movement. A fourth figure, a young child, is borne on his mother’s back and gazes upward to represent hope for a better future.

Read the full story here.

Learn about another way Black history is memorialized here.

More Breaking News here.

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