Revealing Histories: Remembering Slavery

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Simply Read - Responses by gallery visitors and staff

Triumph of the Human Spirit - Thomas, Ms Arlea

Triumph of the Human Spirit
This picture was taken by myself in January during a trip to Manhattan and I went on a tour bus in Manhattan and we passed this statue. They didn't say too much about it, but what they basically said is that it involved slavery and that 400 remains of slaves were found underneath there and they are actually still finding more and more all the time.

Basically a guy called Dr Pace was there and commissioned to make a statue as a memorial to remember those slaves that were buried under there and that were taken from Africa and basically buried under there. One of the people that was there was his great, great grandfather and the actual statue signifies like a lock which was used, actually used on slaves at the time as well.

Also at the moment there's people, they've actually stored the bones somewhere in New York where there is an old cemetery where they are trying to rebury them and they are still looking at the remains of the bones and notice so much decay, so much - the torture that they actually went through working you know the state of it. It actually brought a tear to my eye because I was just thinking, how could people do things like this? - Because at the end of the day we are human beings too. It just signifies a lot and where it is actually based and people can see it and I just wish there was a lot more to actually say what it was about. It is only a statue and little sign to say what it was, but it needs to be more information so people know what they are looking at and what it means and what is actually there.

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Arlea Thomas shares her thoughts about the public artwork 'Triumph of the Human Spirit', which commemorates slavery in the United States. She shared her thoughts about this memorial and her ideas for a memorial in Manchester as part of her involvement in creating a new display; Attitude: Remembering Slavery in the CIS Manchester Gallery. The new display explores the impact and legacy of Manchester's involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.

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Triumph of the Human Spirit
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Thomas, Ms Arlea
Arlea explains her thoughts about the public memorial 'Triumph of the Human Spirit'
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