Monday, August 27, 2012

The Original Statue of Liberty Was Black

Very few people know the origins of the massive statue that stands in New York Harbor greeting travels from across the globe. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to signify the end of slavery. There is evidence that supports claims she originally resembled a black slave with broken shackles on hands and feet. 

The artists Edouard Laboulaye and Auguste Bartholdi intended the statue to be a monument that would commemorate America’s commitment to liberty and equality established by the Declaration of Independence. You can view the original designs on display in the Museum of the City of New York

When the American government saw the designs they refused to have an African-American be a National Monument and sent them back. They preferred to have a monument that was European and made no references to slavery. Auguste Bartholdi redesigned the statue to resemble the face of his mother Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi. The only remnant of the original design is the chain (from the shackle) showing from under Lady Liberty’s dress

There’s also a rumor that the redesigned statues official title is Liberty Enlightening the World. Her construction was funded by the Masons and she is holding the Masonic Torch of Enlightenment, also known as the Flaming Torch of Reason. The same woman is used in the logo for Columbia Pictures.

There’s a large plaque bearing masonic symbols on the base of the statue.

Just sharing a couple of fun (rumored) facts about the Statue of Liberty you probably didn’t know.