Statue honoring Harriet Tubman unveiled in Newark, New Jersey

The unveiling of a monument honoring the legacy of the great Black abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, took place in the Black-majority city of Newark, New Jersey, on March 9. Named “Shadow of a Face,” taken from a 1962 Robert Hayden poem “Runaway Runagate,” the statue sits in the newly named Harriet Tubman Square, previously known as Washington Park.

Artist Nina Cooke John stands next to the Harriet Tubman statue she designed in Newark, New Jersey, March 9, 2023.

The statue replaces one paying homage to Christopher Columbus, the butcher of Indigenous peoples. That statue, along with hundreds more that glorified white supremacy, especially the Confederacy, were taken down when rebellions took place in response to the police lynching of George Floyd in May 2020 in Minneapolis.

Nina Cooke John, the designer of the statue, stated in a press release, “Her heroism is recognized, and space is claimed for her story in this historic park, while her humanity is made accessible so that we can all be empowered by her deeds both great and small.”

Tubman freed hundreds of enslaved people using the Underground Railroad.

— Story by Monica Moorehead

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