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Central Park’s first statue of historical women earns city approval

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Plus, Hudson Yards snubbed by Michelin Guide—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Meredith Bergmann’s proposed Suffragete monument of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Courtesy of New York City Public Design Commission

Central Park’s first statue of real women moves forward

Central Park boasts statues of angels, nymphs, and fictional characters who are women, but not a single monument to the real pioneers of their time. That will soon change. The city’s Public Design Commission approved the preliminary design of a bronze and granite statue of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Monday.

“With this statue we are finally breaking the bronze ceiling,” said Pam Elam, president of Monumental Women, the nonprofit working to place the statue in the park.

The 14-foot high monument, designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, shows the three women seated around a table mid-discussion—and hints at the tension between the suffragettes. The original design included just Anthony and Stanton, who have a history of employing racist rhetoric, unfurling a scroll with the names of 22 other suffragists inscribed on it, but only a handful of black women made it onto that list. Critics argued that excluding African American change makers whitewashed history.

The design was taken back to the drawing board, and Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and women’s rights activist who gave the famed “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851, was given a seat at the table. Monumental Women says the group aims to unveil the statue on August 26, 2020 in honor of the 100-year anniversary of women earning the right to vote.

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