What most people don’t know is that there are broken shackles and chains at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. These symbols of state-sponsored bondage and human cruelty remain there on the Statue of Liberty as a permanent reminder of the slaves that contributed to the building of the United States.
Because the height of the pedestal built to support the statue makes it impossible to see the chains and shackles from the ground, most people visiting Liberty Island remain unaware of them.
The connection between the Statue of Liberty and slavery was denied and hidden for 125 years.
Before the end of 2011, the United States would not acknowledge the true history of the Statue of Liberty and it’s relationship with slavery. After 2011 the U.S. Park Service publicly acknowledged the true history and corrected visitor documentation.
The Statue of Liberty is the brainchild of noted Frenchmen, U.S. Constitution expert, and abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye, a man dedicated to the eradication of slavery in all societies. In 1865 he shared this idea with Auguste Bartholdi, who later became the designer of the statue.
The Statue of Liberty exists specifically to honor the emancipation of slaves in America.