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Community leaders unveil ‘Blank Slate Monument’ at Lyles Station

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 12:08 PM CDT
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PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - Lyles Station in Gibson County has been chosen as a location to display the traveling monument “Blank Slate: Hope For a New America” by Ghanaian sculptor Kwame Akoto-Bamfo.

It was unveiled Friday afternoon.

Officials say the monument is a visual representation of the evolution of the Black experience and struggle in America, as well as a tribute to African American history.

Akoto-Bamfo is known for his work on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.

“My work has always got to do with African history and African heritage,” Akoto-Bamfo said. “As a part of that, I’ve become very interested in chasing the story of my ancestors.”

“It means a lot to us because our future depends upon us moving forward with all walks of life,” Stanley Madison, president of the Lyles Station Historic Preservation Corporation said. “And this is a starting point to let everyone know that we’re looking forward to a better future. I know that we have to work on that.”

Officials told 14 News this “interactive” monument will tour across the country this summer as a tribute to African American history and the ongoing fight for racial justice.

Princeton is the monument’s second stop as it travels to other locations that are important to African American history. Officials say the statue is also set to head to Underground Railroad sites throughout Indiana.

The artist says the statue represents the “new” American history in the midst of the country’s current racial crisis.

The monument will be on display Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lyles Station Historic School & Museum is located in Princeton at 953 N. County Road, 500 W.

Officials with Blank Slate Monument say it’s designed to challenge people to take a deeper look at the African American experience since 1861.

The next stop for the monument is the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.

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