Illustration for article titled Sorry to This Monument: Brits Give Statue of Prolific Slave Trader a Nice New Home at the Bottom of the Bristol Harbor
Screenshot: CBS News

A statue of a prominent slave trader found its proper home on Sunday: at the bottom of a harbor.


The overdue relocation came at the hands of Black Lives Matter protesters in the British town of Bristol. Videos of them toppling the statue, rolling it through the streets, and Jazzy Jeff-ing it into the Bristol Harbor went viral over the weekend, as massive anti-racism protests spread across the world.

The statue was of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, who headed the Royal Africa Company and was responsible for trafficking an estimated 84,000 Africans to the Americas, writes NPR.


He helped build the city with that blood money, making him not unlike a lot of America’s founders. But, as NPR reports, the statue—and the prominence of Colston’s name on the city’s buildings and landmarks—has “long been a point of contention” in the British port city.

“I think it felt like a big relief,” organizer Katie Finnegan-Clarke told NPR. Finnegan-Clarke has worked to expose Colston’s legacy through the organization “Countering Colton. “It was just incredibly poetic the way that he was dragged across the city and essentially thrown overboard into the water like so many people had suffered under his regime during the slave trade.”

Around the statue’s now-empty pedestal, protesters lay dozens of “Black Lives Matter” signs, the anti-racism messages fanning out in concentric circles.


According to SkyNews, a plaque that once detailed the highlights of Colston’s biography has also been replaced. It now reads, “This plaque is dedicated to the slaves that were taken from their homes.”

Staff writer, The Root.

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