1st Prize Singles, Sport News, Nominee, World Press Photo of the Year

25 June 2020

Evelyn Hockstein, United States

for The Washington Post

Emancipation Memorial Debate

A man and woman disagree on the removal of the Emancipation Memorial, in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, USA, 25 June.

The Emancipation Memorial shows President Abraham Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation, with one hand over the head of a Black man kneeling at his feet. Critics argue that the statue is paternalistic, demeaning in its depiction of Black Americans, and that it doesn’t do justice to the role that Black people played in their own liberation. Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists largely welcomed the drive to remove monuments seen as reminders of an oppressive history. Those against removal say the statue is a positive depiction of people being freed from slavery, and that removing such monuments amounts to erasing history. Officials had erected barriers around the Emancipation Memorial in advance of demonstrations. Residents posted notes on the fence expressing their views, and on 25 June around 100 people gathered at the monument debating what it meant.

This image represents a conversation that is very current at the moment in the United States. It is a global conversation that is relevant to many communities thinking about history, legacy, and new ways forward.

NayanTara, General Jury chair

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