“Monumental Reckoning” 350 New Statues Debut Today in GG Park
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Spreckels Temple of Music | Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
A new work of public art will rise in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Monumental Reckoning squarely addresses America’s original sin of slavery while guiding us to a more honest, inclusive, and uplifting future.
Illuminate (the group behind The Bay Lights), artist Dana King, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce will unveil the extraordinary new installation which features 350 steel-based statues (all about 3-4 feet tall) representing the original mothers and women of slavery, encircling and interrogating the plinth of the Frances Scott Key.
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will hold an opening ceremony for Monumental Reckoning, a two-year art installation by Bay Area sculptor Dana King honoring Black history and lives.
The piece consists of 350 black sculptural figures representing the 350 souls kidnapped from Africa and forced onto the slave ship San Juan Bautista in 1619. The sculptures surround the empty pedestal where a statue of Francis Scott Key once stood. Protesters toppled the statue on Juneteenth of 2020.
The event comes one day after President Joe Biden Congress signed a bill establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a U.S. holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
Public Art Unveiling
Debuts Friday, June 18, 2021 | 5:00-6:30p
Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
The proposal is for the art to remain for a two-year stay through June 20, 2023.
This Juneteenth Eve, Friday June 18th, sculptor Dana King, will install 350 ancestral sculptures. These 350 represent the first Africans stolen from their homeland and sold into chattel slavery in 1619. This is a new work of radically inclusive art that will reside in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for two years.
The unveiling is a celebration of our Ancestors and also a celebration of James Weldon Johnson’s 150th birthday.
The event includes:
- opening remarks by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and
- a processional and choir singing James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice”
- a libation ceremony to thank and bless our Ancestors
- African drummers
- a musical performance by Martin Luther McCoy, Rebel Soul recording artist and member of the SF Jazz Collective.
Come commune with the Ancestors and bring your friends and family!
Monumental Reckoning will encircle the memorial to Francis Scott Key that was partially toppled by protestors last Juneteenth by placing “350 ancestors” standing in judgment. San Francisco Mayor London Breed will formally unveil King’s dramatic presentation.
The unveiling will take place on Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It will debut in tandem with an interrelated Illuminate project – the elevation of the words “Lift Every Voice” atop the newly-renovated Spreckels Temple of Music.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900, the same year the Spreckels Temple of Music opened. For more than a century, it has been sung as the Black national anthem. Born in 1871, Johnson’s 150th birthday falls on Juneteenth this year.
*The original unveiling date was listed as June 19th, but was changed by the organizers to be June 18. Please check Facebook for updates.
Categories: *Top Pick*, Art & Museums, In Person, Juneteenth, Protests / Causes