Many people recognize the Statute of Liberty as meaning “Life, Liberty, and Freedom.” However, people do not fully know the story of Lady Liberty. The creator, as well as visionist for the Statue of Liberty, is Fredric Auguste Bartholdi. Yes, many are told Bartholdi designed Lady Liberty as a gift for the United States. According to Wikipedia, “The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.” However, people do not know about the original origins of the statue.
The statue of Liberty has an Arabic root to it. Sculptor Bartholdi to a visit to Egypt and was inspired by a fellah (peasant). If you look at the photo above, you can see a lot of similarities to Lady Liberty face. One thing to note is that many Egyptian women had dark complexion skin. They weren’t the “exotic” looks that people are so used to seeing. Since Bartholdi gain inspiration from Egypt, wouldn’t the statute have come out a different way?
This is the original Statue of Liberty. Yes, she is Black. Below her feet are chains symbolizing her freedom. No, this isn’t as big as the one standing on Liberty Island, NY. However, this was the statue that Bartholdi wanted to give to the US. “The original study for the Statue of Liberty was based on a design, “Egypt Bringing Light to Asia and had African features and showed the broken chains at her feet and in her left hand. The caption said that this was the way Bartholdi originally designed her, but he was persuaded by the U.S. to change her appearance.” Now, why would the US want to change the appearance of this statute?
This original statue of Liberty is said to be a myth. Many scholars will try to dismiss that the statue was ever supposed to look like a Black woman. Supposedly, the statue was supposed to represent “statue initially was the part that Black soldiers played in the ending of Black African Bondage in the United States.” In addition, it was supposed to be a representation for the Black soldiers who won the Civil War in the US. But, you don’t see this being told anywhere in America’s history books.