WASHINGTON (WDVM) – A monument to black history was unveiled in Anacostia, District of Columbia on Tuesday, June 29, as part of a nationwide tour.
The sculpture made stops in major cities across the United States, such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York. It was designed and created by Kwame Okoto-Bamfo from Ghana. Okoto-Bamfo art historically presents African culture and answers questions of civil rights.
“The Blank Slate Monument”, which toured the United States, is a response to the controversy surrounding Confederate monuments.
The statue itself has an African slave on all fours at the base of the sculpture, supporting the other three parts of the room. The next piece is a Black Union soldier holding a flag, with a noose around his neck. The soldier carries a protester who is carrying a baby on her back, a lantern in one hand and a sign in the other.
The sign in the protester’s hand is interactive, which brings the community into the conversation. People can connect to Blank Slate’s Wi-Fi and put their own message on the panel. These messages help continue the conversation the statue brings to the community.
Morris Sinclair, brand director for the Okoto-Bamfo studio, said: “A lot of people had an emotional reaction to the monument. Physically, they’re like, “Wow, that’s beautiful. Most people just really sit there and stare at it for a few minutes before they have something to say, and when they have the explanation for it, they really understand what it is and it really touches and enriches them. .
Okoto-Bamfo and his team are working on plans to have the monument permanently installed somewhere in the United States, but for now the tour is heading to Atlanta.