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Bristol Post
Bristol Post
Tristan Cork

Activist who raised fist on Colston's plinth releases new children's book

The woman whose salute on top of the Colston plinth minutes after it was toppled became a controversial statue itself has marked the third anniversary of that moment by launching a new children’s picture book called ‘A Hero Like Me’.

Jen Reid became something of a symbol of the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston on June 7, 2020, when she briefly stood atop the empty plinth and made a Black Power pose.

Pictures of that moment went around the world, and artist Marc Quinn created a sculpture of it which was then placed on top of the empty plinth, before it was removed less than 24 hours later on the orders of Mayor Marvin Rees.

Read next: Jen Reid on Colston two years on, her new book and launching a fashion brand

The activist, who was brought up in Bath, has now penned a children’s book, which was launched at bookshop in Bristol this morning, before launches at Cabot Primary School and May Park Primary School in the city later in the day.

The book is an account of the event, and is called A Hero Like Me. “The book champions the power of protest, social justice, and the right for children to see themselves in the heroes and monuments depicted in their communities,” a spokesperson for the publishers said.

“The picture book account of these events is told through the eyes of a little girl who walks past a towering statue on her way to school every day: a statue of a man who sold freedom for cotton and tea. The world around her says this man is a hero – but she knows that he’s not a real one.

“Jen’s book is an inspiring story about the power of protest, and the importance of standing up for what is right. It shows every child that they have a voice in their community and a say in who is on their streets. That they too have power, just like Jen,” she added.

A new children's book 'A Hero Like Me', a picture book telling the story of Jen Reid standing on top of the Colston plinth (PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC)

Jen Reid was vocal in her fury that a BBC documentary chronicling the aftermath of the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston from inside the Mayor’s Office did not approach her to contribute, even though a lot of the programme featured discussions on the day the statue of her was placed on the plinth without the city council’s consent.

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