Did you know the Original Statue of Liberty presented to the U.S. was a Statue of a…”Black Woman”? In a book called “The Journey of The Songhai People”, according to Dr. Jim Haskins, a member of the National Education Advisory Committee of the Liberty-Ellis Island Committee, professor of English at the University of Florida, and prolific Black author, points out that what stimulated the original idea for that 151 foot statue in the harbor.
Haskins says that what stimulated the idea for the creation of the statue initially was the part that Black soldiers played in the ending of Black African Bondage in the United States. It was created in the mind of the French historian Edourd de Laboulaye, chairman of the French Anti-Slavery Society, who, together with sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, proposed to the French government that the people of France present to the people of the United States through the American Abolitionist Society, the gift of a Statue of Liberty in recognition of the fact that Black soldiers won the Civil War in the United States.
It was widely known then that it was Black soldiers who played the pivotal role in winning the war, and this gift would be a tribute to their prowess. Suzanne Nakasian, director of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Foundations’ National Ethnic Campaign said that the Black Americans’ direct connection to Lady Liberty is unknown to the majority of Americans, BLACK or WHITE.