On Saturday, Aug. 19, a group of young women from the activist group Black Youth Project 100 demonstrated in front of a statue of infamous 19th-century gynecologist J. Marion Sims in New York.
In the past week, a number of controversial monuments memorializing the Confederacy have been taken down, but now there is a new development in the movement to rid the nation of monuments idolizing white supremacy.
The demonstrators wore hospital gowns stained with pink dye to symbolize blood to make a statement on the horror his victims faced.
It is common knowledge that he used enslaved black women to perform his procedures and experiments so that white women ultimately could benefit.
In a Facebook post from the group’s page, their call to take down the statue dedicated to the man went viral.
“J. Marion Sims was a gynecologist in the 1800s who purchased Black women slaves and used them as guinea pigs for his untested surgical experiments,” they wrote in the post. “He repeatedly performed genital surgery on Black women WITHOUT ANESTHESIA because according to him, ‘Black women don’t feel pain.’”
The statue stands outside of the New York Academy of Medicine almost excusing Sims’ methodology.
“We cannot get over our history of white supremacy until we acknowledge it,” the protest’s organizer Seshat Mack says in a Now This video of the protest. “When we say that this country and its institutions are literally built on the bodies of black people, we’re not exaggerating, and we’re not lying.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a 90-day review of any “hate symbols” but it is not known if Sims’ statue will be included in the review.