Statue Of ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protester Replaces Statue Of Slave Trader, Torn Down 24 Hours Later
A powerful image of Black Lives Matter protester, Jen Reid, has been memorialized in the form of a statuesque sculpture that was mounted in Bristol, England. It has replaced a now-dismounted statue of historical slave trader, Edward Colston that had been standing since first erected in 1895.
Reportedly, the primary statue had been a point of contention for years but rose to higher levels during the recent protests against racial injustices.
On June 7, ‘Black Lives Matter‘ protesters took matters into their own hands in an effort to show solidarity with Blacks in the United States, and dismounted the slave trader’s statue with a rope and dumped it into a harbor.
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Remember this? This is her now ?? @marcquinnart has replaced the Bristol statue of slave trader Edward Colston with local resident and Black Lives Matter protester #JenReid. You truly love to see it. ? removal of Edward Colston / “A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)”, Marc Quinn (2020)
Jen Reid, who has now gone viral, was walking home on that same day and stood on the same plinth where the bronze statue once stood and put her fist in the air. The moment was captured in a photo and shared to social media when it caught the eye of British sculptor, Marc Quinn.
Jen Reid shared what was going through her mind as she was walking home that day.
“I felt an overwhelming impulse to climb onto the plinth, just completely driven to do it by the events which had taken place right before.”
“When I was stood there on the plinth, and raised my arm in a Black Power salute, it was totally spontaneous, I didn’t even think about it. It was like an electrical charge of power was running through me.”
“My immediate thoughts were for the enslaved people who died at the hands of Colston and to give them power. I wanted to give George Floyd power, I wanted to give power to Black people like me who have suffered injustices and inequality. A surge of power out to them all.”
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“It’s making a stand for my mother, for black women like me, for my daughter and something to feel proud of, for them to have a sense of belonging” – Jen Reid Watch @channel4news tonight at 7pm for the full story. . . . . . #bristol #asurgeofpower #jenreid #colstonstatue #marcquinn #colston #blm #blacklivesmatter
The new sculpture has caused an influx of attention with supporters and onlookers. Many have shared photos of the new sculpture on social media which is said to be only a temporary mounting.
The statue was removed 24 hours after it was put in place. Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, who is black, said:
“I prefer to say we’re not taking down the statue of a Black Lives Matter protester, we are taking down the work of a London-based artist who erected it without permission and without any conversation with the city.”
A historians committee is coming up with ideas to replace the statue.
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