CBS News reported that the 25-foot Tubman monument in Newark, titled “Shadow of a Face,” includes an audio installation of the abolitionist’s life. The audio is narrated by Newark-born singer and actress Queen Latifah.
According to The New York Times, the monument features a circular “learning wall” where visitors can read about Newark’s history and the life of Tubman. Tubman was a slave who escaped in 1849 and subsequently led hundreds of slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. According to the newspaper, she was a Union spy during the Civil War.
CBS News reported that the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that led north of the Mason-Dixon line, included a church in Newark with hidden tunnels.
Michele Jones Galvin, Tubman’s great-great-great grandniece, was also present on Thursday at Harriet Tubman Square, formerly known as Washington Park, per NJ.com.
Biden administration efforts to place Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill resume
During the ceremony, Galvin stated, “In the spirit of Harriet Tubman, the monument… will memorialise her heroism, inspire future generations to take action when they see injustice, and instill the value of service to the most vulnerable in our society.”
A new monument to abolitionist Harriet Tubman was debuted by Newark city officials, rapper Queen Latifah, artist Nina Cooke John and others. The new monument stands in Harriet Tubman Square. pic.twitter.com/uTR2Jn5fb5
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 10, 2023
NJ.com reported that Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy also attended.
Baraka stated, “We honour Harriet while also celebrating democracy and the realisation that the greatness of this county lives in Harriet’s footsteps.” Therefore, this monument is about us today.
Baraka told ABC News that during racial protests and nationwide calls to remove historical figures deemed racist, his city “got ahead of it” by removing the statue of Christopher Columbus.
Baraka told the news organisation, “We also wanted to make sure we put something up because it wasn’t just about removing things; it was also about representing the entirety and completeness of history.” “Therefore, we wanted to do the same in Newark and be among the first to erect something in place of demolished statues.”
The home of Harriet Tubman’s father has been discovered in Maryland.
Queen Latifah stated during a media event that she “learned so much” during the dedication of the Tubman statue, according to ABC News.
A 25-foot tall monument honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman was unveiled on Thursday, replacing a controversial Christopher Columbus statue that was removed in 2020. https://t.co/YyzQouWUbg
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 10, 2023
Latifah stated, “We hope this monument conveys Harriet Tubman‘s resistance and integrity to everyone who needs to hear it.” “We want people to know, feel, and comprehend the gravity of the situation and Harriet Tubman’s extraordinary bravery.”
The monument was designed by Nina Cooke John and consists of a steel outline of Tubman’s body within a circular wall, according to NJ.com. The monument features Tubman’s face engraved outside of a stone circle and ceramic tiles designed by Newark residents, according to a news source.