Symbolism

Symbolism of the Monument

The Pedestal

Pedestal – To put someone or something on a Pedestal is to place them above. It is to behave as if one person is more important than another. The artist characterizes the fact that African Americans are struggling to mount a base to be on the same level as the rest of American Heroes.

The Memory Jug

An American folk-art form that memorializes the dead. It is made up of a drinking jug or vessel riddled with historic and personal items. It has deep African roots and is a means of paying homage to a lot of groups whose sculptures cannot be added to the collection. Their various symbols are embossed on the memory jug.

The Slave Ancestor

His body is closest to the ground and both his hands and feet are bound. His bound hands support the struggling black union martyr and his face supports the feet of the soldier as well. He has no rights at all, thus his face is practically in the ground, yet he struggles to help those above him whom he cannot even see with his eyes. Viewers may be moved by his facial expression and his face on the bare ground be it concrete, grass or dirt. He will be in loins cloth and bound in chains. 

The Lynched Union Soldier Martyr

An unknown Union army soldier with a noose around his neck; He struggles to keep an American flag up even as he supports the activist mother. He also carries a memory jug.

The Struggling Mother Activist

Responsible for mending broken men and giving hope to children challenged with hopelessness. The mother is not only responsible for birthing the next generation, but she also has to support the unknown martyr whilst still raising a baby. She represents contemporary struggles in the freedom tradition.

The Baby

Representing the future generation, her face pressed against the mother’s back will mimic the way the enslaved ancestor’s face is pressed against the ground. Justifying the reason why her mother is protesting.

The Placards

Perhaps the most important symbol, the placard represents and becomes the voice of the ordinary people. It is the medium which allows the ordinary person to voice their views on all issues concerning black history, confederate monuments and the sculpture itself.

Connect with us

Blank Slate Tour

Louisville, KY

June 1 – 7 ––– Kentucky African American Heritage Center
June 8 – 9 ––– Injustice Square Park

Blank Slate Virtual Town Hall

June 3 ––– Blank Slate Youtube

Princeton, IN

June 11 – 12 ––– Lyles Station Historic Museum

Detroit, MI

June 15 – 16 ––– Motown Museum

Chicago, IL

June 17 – 20 ––– Dusable Museum

Pittsburgh, PA

June 20 – 22 ––– August Wilson African American Cultural Center

Brooklyn, NY

June 24 ––– Brooklyn Children’s Museum

New York, NY

June 25 ––– Times Square

Harlem, NY

June 26 ––– African Chop House

Washington, DC

June 29 ––– We Act Radio

Charlotte, NC

July 1 ––– The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture

Atlanta, GA

August 27 – September 4th ––– Martin Luther King Center

Symbolism

Symbolism
of the Monument

The Pedestal

Pedestal – To put someone or something on a Pedestal is to place them above. It is to behave as if one person is more important than another. The artist characterizes the fact that African Americans are struggling to mount a base to be on the same level as the rest of American Heroes.

The Memory Jug

An American folk-art form that memorializes the dead. It is made up of a drinking jug or vessel riddled with historic and personal items. It has deep African roots and is a means of paying homage to a lot of groups whose sculptures cannot be added to the collection. Their various symbols are embossed on the memory jug.

The Slave Ancestor

His body is closest to the ground and both his hands and feet are bound. His bound hands support the struggling black union martyr and his face supports the feet of the soldier as well. He has no rights at all, thus his face is practically in the ground, yet he struggles to help those above him whom he cannot even see with his eyes. Viewers may be moved by his facial expression and his face on the bare ground be it concrete, grass or dirt. He will be in loins cloth and bound in chains. 

The Lynched Union Soldier Martyr

An unknown Union army soldier with a noose around his neck; He struggles to keep an American flag up even as he supports the activist mother. He also carries a memory jug.

The Struggling Mother Activist

Responsible for mending broken men and giving hope to children challenged with hopelessness. The mother is not only responsible for birthing the next generation, but she also has to support the unknown martyr whilst still raising a baby. She represents contemporary struggles in the freedom tradition.

The Baby

Representing the future generation, her face pressed against the mother’s back will mimic the way the enslaved ancestor’s face is pressed against the ground. Justifying the reason why her mother is protesting.

The Placards

Perhaps the most important symbol, the placard represents and becomes the voice of the ordinary people. It is the medium which allows the ordinary person to voice their views on all issues concerning black history, confederate monuments and the sculpture itself.

Blank Slate Tour

Louisville, KY

June 1 – 7 ––– Kentucky African American Heritage Center
June 8 – 9 ––– Injustice Square Park

Blank Slate Virtual Town Hall

June 3 ––– Blank Slate Youtube

Princeton, IN

June 11 – 12 ––– Lyles Station Historic Museum

Detroit, MI

June 15 – 16 ––– Motown Museum

Chicago, IL

June 17 – 20 ––– Dusable Museum

Pittsburgh, PA

June 20 – 22 ––– August Wilson African American Cultural Center

Brooklyn, NY

June 24 ––– Brooklyn Children’s Museum

New York, NY

June 25 ––– Times Square

Harlem, NY

June 26 ––– African Chop House

Washington, DC

June 29 ––– We Act Radio

Charlotte, NC

July 1 ––– The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts & Culture

Atlanta, GA

August 27 – September 4th ––– Martin Luther King Center

Connect with us