Monuments to Resistance

Dublin Core


Monuments to Resistance


The monuments and memorials in this section commemorate the enslaved and freemen and women who resisted bondage and worked to end the institution of slavery. In her book,  The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition historian Manisha Sinha examines the long history of Black liberation— resistance to slavery began at the moment of its inception. Resistance to enslavement took many forms— from rebellions aboard slave ships and the enslaved slowing the pace of work, feigning illness, and breaking tools on plantations to enslaved men and women escaping from bondage. The works in this section honor these diverse histories of resistance. The Amistad Memorial recognizes Sengbe Pieh, who led a revolt of abducted Africans against their captors on the Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, while the Edmonson Sisters Memorial in Alexandria, VA celebrates the abolitionists and formerly enslaved sisters Mary and Emily Edmonson.


Renée Ater

Collection Items

Amistad Memorial (New Haven, CT)
The Amistad Memorial centers around a large bronze triangular prism adorned with sculptural reliefs, depicting scenes from the life of Sengbe Pieh.In 1839 Pieh led a revolt of abducted Africans against their captors on the Spanish slave ship, the…

Edmonson Sisters Memorial (Alexandria, VA)
Two young women emerge from a large rocky outcrop, their hands clasped tightly as they stride forward. The over life-sized work depicts the abolitionists and former slaves, the sisters Mary and Emily Edmonson. The statue is located on the site of the…

Denmark Vesey Monument (Charleston, SC)
The work is dedicated to Denmark Vesey, a carpenter and self-educated black man who planned one of the most extensive slave revolt in U.S. history in Charleston, SC in 1822. Vesey, elegantly dressed in a collared jacket, trousers, and an exceedingly…
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