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Screengrab courtesy of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam livestream

A new statue commemorating the abolition of slavery was unveiled in Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, two weeks after a monument of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was removed.

State of play: The Emancipation and Freedom Statue consists of two bronze statues depicting a man and a woman holding a baby after being freed from slavery. It also includes the names of 10 Virginians who fought for emancipation, including Dred Scott.

  • The statue was meant to be revealed in 2019, but it was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

What they're saying: "I pray the public will see to the heart of the piece, to feel the intent to present a work with which every African American can identify, and find a place that every person can visit and piece for reflection and to teach their children," said Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D), who is head of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, which commissioned the statue.

  • "We talk often about the need to make sure that we tell and teach the full and true story of our shared history, how we must ensure that everyone understands where we have been so we can build a more inclusive future together," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said.
  • "By necessity that often includes focusing on the horrors of slavery and the terrors of the Jim Crow era. But in this monument, we see a different part of the story. These figures embody the power, the power of emancipation and the power of free," Northam added.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the statue was unveiled on Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Go deeper

Chicago's Columbus statues still down

Crews remove the Columbus statue in Grant Park in July, 2020. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

It's been 15 months since Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered crews to take down the Columbus statues in Chicago after protesters tried to tear them down themselves.

Why it matters: The statues became the focal point of protest and vandalism over Columbus' genocidal past as the entire country had a reckoning over historically racist statues and symbols.

  • Now, the Italian American community is demanding they are put back up.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.