Mary Thomas, Leader Of St. Croix 'Fireburn' Slave Rebellion, Honored In Denmark

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Mary Thomas, Leader Of St. Croix 'Fireburn' Slave Rebellion, Honored In Denmark

In Denmark, like most countries in the Western world, most public statues represent white men. For a 23 foot tall rebel queen to assume a prominent position represents a deliberate challenge to Denmark's collective memory about its own place in the history of slavery, writes The New York Times

The sculpture was inspired by Mary Thomas, known as one of "the three queens." The three women leaders unleashed the 'Fireburn', an 1878 uprising on St. Croix, in which 50 plantations and most of the town of Frederiksted burned to the ground in what is considered to be the largest labor revolt in Danish colonial history.

“This project is about challenging Denmark’s collective memory and changing it,” the Virgin Islands artist La Vaughn Belle, one of two principal forces behind the statue, said in a statement.