The petition calling for the removal of the Emancipation Memorial statue, which shows Lincoln towering above a freed slave kneeling at his feet with shackles on his wrists, has received more than 7,800 signatures spearheaded by Dorchester native Tory Bullock.
“It's supposed to represent freedom but instead represents us still beneath someone else," Bullock writes in the petition he started last Thursday.
"My problem is with the person in front of him, the person that's supposed to represent me and my people," Bullock told Fox News on Monday of the statue he's found unsettling since he was a kid. "He's not clothed, he's in chains, it's just not a good representation for something that's supposed to represent equality and the Emancipation Proclamation."
In the petition, Bullock wrote: "I would always ask myself: 'If he's free why is he still on his knees?' No kid should have to ask themselves that question anymore."
The statue is a replica of the original statue in Washington, D.C. funded by money donated by former slaves and designed by Charlestown native Thomas Ball. Bullock says the Boston mayor's office is considering removing the statue or recommissioning it into something new.
The office for Mayor Marty Walsh did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.
The call to remove the 141-year-old Emancipation statue is the latest in a nationwide movement to take down monuments that honor historically oppressive leaders such a Confederate general and Christopher Columbus. The racial justice movement, fueled by the death of George Floyd while in police custody, has brought renewed reckoning to tearing down statues of controversial historic leaders.
In some cases, many activists are taking matters into their own hands.
A statue of Columbus was beheaded last week in Boston’s North End neighborhood. And Camden, New Jersey is in the process of also removing a statue of Columbus after the city announced it will “establish a plan to reexamine these outdated symbols of racial division and injustices."