JA’VONNE’S TRAVEL MINUTE – THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

What do the broken chains at the feet of The Statue of Liberty symbolize?  Do they symbolize that all people have the right to life, liberty and the pusit of happiness? Or, is this specifically for the abolishment of slavery?  African Americans at the time didn’t accept this theory of The Statue of Liberty because when it was erected on October 28, 1886, inequalities, discrimination and oppression still existed towards African Americans.  W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in his autobiography, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life From the Last Decade of Its First Century, he was unable to imagine the same sense of hope he assumed some immigrant arrivals had felt when he sailed past the Statue on a return trip from Europe.

Here is my Travel Minute and the links that inspired the tale of two sites?

On June 17, 1885 lady liberty arrived into the New York Harbor in 350 pieces. The statue was a gift from the people of France.

What I find interesting about the history of the Statue of Liberty are the different references made about the meaning and intention of the statue.

On the www.statueofliberty.org site
Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and engineered by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue was said to be a symbol of the alliance established between the United States and France during the American Revolution. 

However, on the National Park Services site it also states that the statue represented much more to those who proposed the gift.  In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye (a French political thinker, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist) proposed that a monument be built as a gift from France to the United States in order to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States and to honor the work of the late president Abraham Lincoln. Also refer to http://www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/abolition.htm

Now I find that the question of the purpose and symbolism of the gift often comes about because of the chains that are at the feet of lady liberty. Do the chains represent broken shackles and the abolishment of slavery or what France was still dealing with and breaking from a monarchy.  Well, I don’t know? What do you think?

The Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public on the 4th of July since being closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy

Ja’Vonne Harley


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