Harriet Tubman Monument Unveiled In New Jersey, Replaces Christopher Columbus Statue
A monument to Harriet Tubman has replaced the Christopher Columbus statue in the city of Newark, New Jersey, following public condemnation.
According to CNN, the 25-foot statue entitled “Shadow of a Face” was unveiled on Thursday (March 9), in place of the Christopher Columbus statue.
As a result of protests against social injustice during the murder of George Floyd, Columbus' statue was removed from the city in 2020.
The area where Tubman’s monument stands was recently renamed Harriet Tubman Square, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in a statement.
“In a time when so many cities are choosing to topple statutes that limit the scope of their people’s story, we have chosen to erect a monument that spurs us into our future story of exemplary strength and solidity,” he said.
The monument was inspired by poet Robert Hayden’s 1962 poem “Runaway Runagate,” which references Tubman.
Baraka says the monument was selected in June 2021 after a national open call and multiphase process.
Nina Cooke John, the monument designer and architect, says she wanted to bring community and freedom into the design.
"One way I wanted to bring about their connection is really to meet the community with the prompt, 'What is your story of liberation? What is your story -- big or small -- of really overcoming multiple obstacles that we all have to overcome,” she said in an interview.