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A controversial statue in Washington, D.C., and replicated in Boston, has a history that many people who currently oppose the statues might not know, according to reports.

Both statues depict President Abraham Lincoln standing over a kneeling black man who is newly freed from slavery. Critics of the statues claim the image communicates the black man’s subservience — and have called for the statues in both cities to be removed.

But the idea for the statue started with a formerly enslaved woman who wanted to pay homage to Lincoln after he was assassinated in 1865, according to the National Park Service.

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