About the artist: http://www.aryabadiyan.com
Many people are unaware of the history of the Statue of Liberty beyond its association with the French and immigration. Lady Liberty was actually designed to commemorate the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
The sculptor of the statue, Auguste Bartholdi, originally designed the statue to feature a broken shackle and chain in its left hand, representing a woman freed from bondage. However, this was changed at the request of the designer, the French abolitionist Édouard de Laboulaye, to the tablet we see today (inscribed with the date of the Declaration of Independence) so as to promote a more grand and universal idea of liberty.
Today, with the recent murder of George Floyd and the ongoing protests, the juxtaposition of these ideals and the reality of the people they overshadow has never been more evident.
Young students across America profess their dedication to those ideals every day by repeating the Pledge of Allegiance. However, “liberty and justice for all” has never been realized for discriminated groups, especially African Americans, who have a long and painful history of oppression following the Civil War. Instead, the Statue emphasizes “the bitter ironies of America's professed identity as a just and free society.”
This depiction of Lady Liberty incorporates Bartholdi’s original design choice. The statue holds in one hand broken chains and in the other a plaque that marks the date, June 19, 1865, when the last of the slaves were freed in Galveston, Texas.