Central Park Is Finally Getting Its First Statues of Real-life Women
Two statues of suffragettes are coming to New York City's Central Park in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote.
Statues of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are slated to arrive in the iconic park along Literary Way in 2020. Activists and local residents participated in the unveiling of the location Tuesday, on the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in New York.
“We are going to break the bronze ceiling in Central Park to create the first statue of real women in its 164-year history,” said Pam Elam, president of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund, who was instrumental in getting the approval for the statues.
The sculptures, which will sit near William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, will be the first statues of historical women in the park, which includes depictions of fictional girls and women such as Alice in Wonderland, amNewYork reported.
Debate has emerged on social media as to whether Anthony in particular deserved to be honored in such an important way. The suffragette, who advocated throughout her life for a woman's right to vote and was arrested for attempting to do so 145 years ago, was critical of African-Americans' right to vote.
One of the most well-known points of contention took place at the Equal Rights Convention of 1866, when Frederick Douglass reportedly told Stanton and Anthony that black men’s right to vote was “vital” whereas women’s right to vote was only “desirable.”
“I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman," Anthony said in retort.
Stanton, much like many other suffragettes, was inspired by the abolition movement. Along with Lucretia Mott, she organized the first Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, which laid the foundation for the suffragette movement.