Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Emancipation Park sculpture gets new shiny black look

Published:Saturday | December 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
A woman snaps a picture of the newly painted statue at Emancipation Park in New Kingston, yesterday. Gone is the grey and in is a shiny black, with the base painted a rich brown.

The new paint job on the world-famous 'Redemption Song' statue at Emancipation Park in New Kingston has not gone unnoticed by members of the public.

The statue received a facelift recently, and some members of the public are calling it majestic and that the decision to give it a new look was well intentioned.

Gone is the grey and in is a shiny black, with the base painted a rich brown, about which one set of female students from the Annotto Bay High School commented enthusiastically on its symbolism.

"I came here some time ago before now and it was grey, almost metallic. And today, I am here with my school as part of the World AIDS Day celebration and I was shocked," said Shemoya Crooks.

"But when I came close and looked, I realised what they are doing. The black paint signifies us being a proud black nation, while the brown base says to me, from out the earth were we taken. I actually like it very much."

 

AWAKEN BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS

 

One passer-by said that it could have been that the new colour scheme was specifically chosen to awaken the black consciousness of the population and to celebrate black power and strength at a time when bleaching, as a fad, has gone too far.

"I love it. It is the first time I feel that the authorities really got it right. This statue is now the right colour. It even looks stronger, more permanent, and definitely a message to the bleachers to quit destroying their melanin and be proud, black Jamaicans," Milton Blake said.

Myshka Mitchell was equally impressed. She told The Gleaner that the black gives it a majestic look.

"We are all black people. I see what the colours mean. It symbolises the colour of a dominant race - strong and proud while looking to God," said Mitchell.

Attempts to get a comment from the National Housing Trust, the agency with responsibility for Emancipation Park and the statue, proved futile.

The Redemption Song statue is an 11-foot-high bronze sculpture situated at the park's main entrance at the corner of Knutsford Boulevard and Oxford Road, New Kingston. The prominent sculpture features a naked black male and female gazing up at the sky.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com