Home / General / Guerilla Historical Commemoration

Guerilla Historical Commemoration

Comments
/
/
/
980 Views

This is super fascinating.

Over two years, York trekked some 8,000 miles from St. Louis to the Pacific Northwest and back, hunting, tracking, foraging and, at least once, voting as a Black man held in bondage by another, more famous member of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Last weekend, almost 215 years after the group made it back to Missouri, a large bust of York was raised in a Portland, Ore., park without fanfare or explanation, on the spot where a statue of a prominent conservative had been toppled last year. City leaders, acknowledging that they had no idea who put the monument to York there, said it looked great.

“This is what we’re calling guerrilla public art, but it was a pleasant surprise,” said Adena Long, the director of Portland’s parks bureau. York, she said in an interview, is “a figure that in my mind that we need to do a better job of proactively and thoughtfully celebrating.”

Ms. Long said that she was not aware of any message about the bust from those responsible, but that it would be allowed to stand so long as it does not pose any safety risks, in line with a bureau policy regarding tributes. “We’re hopeful the artists will make themselves known so we can have a conversation, but it will stay,” she said.

It really is a good looking statue. I also assume this cost a good bit of money to create and install. So that’s also interesting.

History is a battleground in which the present fights. That very much includes who we commemorate and who we choose to stop commemorating. I’m glad Portland is leaving up this statue. It’s an important counter to the white pioneer history that Northwesterners love and think says something positive about themselves today.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
It is main inner container footer text