In June, the world was
taken over by a massive movement that really questioned our morality. People
took to the streets to raise their voice against systemic racism and police
brutality. After the brutal murder of George Floyd, the angry reaction from the
black community was needed. Anti-racists individuals marched and pulled down
the sculptures and statues of slave traders, colonizers, oppressors, and makers
of racist policies. From Christopher
Columbus to Confederate General Robert E. Lee – nobody was shown any mercy.
Amongst many others,
the 17th century English slave trader and the former Member of
Parliament Edward Colston’s sculpture was dragged and disrespected through the
streets of Bristol. This bronze sculpture stood there since 1895 but now it has
been replaced by someone who actually deserves it. After the removal of that
sculpture, the place has been replaced by Jen
Reid a protestor of Black Lives Matter. It was installed in the early
Wednesday morning before the authorities could arrive.
Reid attended the march
on June 7 and was amongst the few protesters who removed Colston’s statue and
helped throw it in the river. During this time, a photo was taken of her where
she had her fist held high – there is something powerful about that picture.
Anyway, Quinn saw the picture and immediately contacted Reid through social
media and convinced her to work on a project with her.
Reid said: “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. This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my
daughter, for Black people like me.”
The statue of Colson
has been retrieved by the Bristol City Council. The good news is that Mayor
Marvin Rees has confirmed the plans to put this statue on display in a museum
along with other famous photos from the Black Lives Matter protest.
There is no
confirmation whether Reid’s statue would remain installed in that place because
both sides of the aisle have condemned the act. In fact, Prime Minister Boris
Johnson has even called this act criminal. Sir Keir Starmer of the Labor Party
said that it was completely wrong – although he did agree that Colston’s statue
should’ve been removed long ago.
more than 100,000 slaves from West Africa. So, it’s about time people honor
public spaces with the status of people like Reid and not actual criminals like
If you haven’t joined the good cause then join them and show your valuable support to make an actual difference in the lives of oppressed and the oppressors. Have you picked your Black
Lives Matter T-Shirt from Amazon? Get it here now. It comes in all sizes and colors! March
on the streets for a cause that will put you on the right side of history.