True Yank – Leon Reid IV

Intervention on public monument, Manchester, 2009



Leon Reid joined Upper Space & Urbis for the creation and installation of his first intervention in Manchester entitled ‘True Yank’ in 2009.

Passers-by were invited to look for a new artistic intervention on the streets of Manchester, which gave the city’s statue of Abraham Lincoln a modern-day revamp, complete with baseball cap, medallions and rings.

Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President, blockaded the export of raw cotton to Manchester – the industrial cottonopolis, in campaign to put an end to slavery. The statue, located on Brazenose St, commemorates the thanks offered by Lincoln to the people of Manchester for their support. Reid’s installation paid tribute to this story and highlighted the affection in which Lincoln is still held by African-Americans today by subverting the popular styles of late 80s and early 90s hip hop culture.

‘True Yank’ – Leon Reid