解放紀念碑上的林肯總統一手拿著解放宣言，另一手則撫著一名跪在他腳邊的黑人男子的頭。批評者認為此雕像為國家父權主義的表現，貶低了美國黑人，而且沒有合理地呈現黑人為自由所作的努力。Black Lives Matter黑人社會運動者普遍樂見紀念碑的拆除，因為它提醒著一段沉痛的歷史。而反方則表示此雕像對解放奴隸有正面意涵，拆除意味著抹滅歷史。官方在示威活動前於雕像周遭立起了圍欄，居民則在圍欄上貼上便條，表達觀點。6月25日那天約有一百名民眾聚集於此，爭論紀念碑的意義。
1st Prize Singles
Nominee, World Press Photo of the Year
A man and woman disagree on the removal of the Emancipation Memorial, in Lincoln Park, Washington DC, USA, 25 June.
The Emancipation Memorial shows President Abraham Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation, with one hand over the head of a Black man kneeling at his feet. Critics argue that the statue is paternalistic, demeaning in its depiction of Black Americans, and that it doesn’t do justice to the role that Black people played in their own liberation. Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists largely welcomed the drive to remove monuments seen as reminders of an oppressive history. Those against removal say the statue is a positive depiction of people being freed from slavery, and that removing such monuments amounts to erasing history. Officials had erected barriers around the Emancipation Memorial in advance of demonstrations. Residents posted notes on the fence expressing their views, and on 25 June around 100 people gathered at the monument debating what it meant.