"Voices of Freedom" sculpture by artist, Littleton Alston, on the Public Art Omaha website.
The base of the sculpture is in the shape of a pyramid, symbolizing African achievement and a universal wonder of the world. It embodies Skinner school images, which makes reference to education being the foundation of society. Each panel on the base depicts a segment of the school; the arts, technology, administration, and the classical profile portrait of Dr. Skinner.
The figures in the sculpture are on a journey through time. Freedom from slavery and oppression move the lower figures upward. Dr. Skinner is holding the book of history and from its pages spring figures representing the struggle for freedom. Harriet Tubman spreads her hands above the suffering slave to gather him onto the Underground Railroad. The large busts of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln represent the true vision and struggle to right a nation’s sins. But once the Civil War began and the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves, families (fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandparents) sought out each other. The woman and child being lifted by the freed man represent this. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry soldier holding the flag represents the Civil War. The soldier from World War I represents the Harlem Hell Fighters who were decorated for heroism in battles across Europe. They were fighting and dying for freedoms they themselves did not have in America. Onward and upward the jazz musician holding the trumpet represents the post war era. He also represents celebration as in Gabriel blowing the horn. At the apex of the sculpture is Dr. Martin Luther King, the modern day Moses. Dr. King gathered people on the Washington Mall as we remember his “I Have A Dream” speech. Arising into the air is a woman with a newborn child holding the future to the sky in hope that this child’s life would never experience the pain of the past.