Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s resilient quest in the fight for Black liberation is being commemorated through the creation of monuments throughout the country. The latest statue honoring the trailblazer has risen in Maryland, WMAR-TV reported.
Standing 13 feet tall, the bronze statue, named the Beacon of Hope, was raised in Cambridge, Maryland, to commemorate Tubman’s bicentennial birth year. The state of Maryland was a significant backdrop along Tubman’s journey. She was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Dorchester County in 1822. She bravely returned to the state several times to rescue her family members—and other individuals who were under the oppression of slavery—to lead them toward liberty on the Underground Railroad.
The sculpture—created by artist Wesley Wofford—depicts Tubman during her childhood and as an adult and stands near where Tubman rescued her niece, Kessiah Bowley. The statue was unveiled on The Day of Resilience, which was created in 2019 in Cambridge to reflect on the 400th anniversary of the transatlantic slave trade.
News about the statue comes months after the city of Newark renamed Washington Park Harriet Tubman Square.
“The entire project was very community driven. What we wanted to talk about was, what is the origin story of Harriet Tubman,” Wofford shared in a statement. “The base represents the hundreds of thousands of lives adversely affected. The shackles at the base represent all those lives. This statue is her first vision–of her future self. Her future self is handing a generational key to her. She is giving her the strength to say this is the strong woman you need to become because you’re going to need me now–and 200 years from now, they’re still going to need us. So reach within yourself and become that woman.”
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