New Harriet Tubman Statue Replaces Christopher Columbus In New Jersey

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Goodbye Christopher Columbus and hello Harriet Tubman. A new monument of Tubman was revealed in Newark, New Jersey and it stands where the statue of Christopher Columbus used to be. 

The monument is named, “Shadow of a Face,” which stands 25 feet tall and displays the timeline of her life. The Root reports that audio narration is provided by Newark native, Queen Latifah. 

The name of Tubman’s monument came from the poem “Runagate, Runagate,” written by Robert Hayden. The poem speaks about how slaves searched for freedom by going through the Underground Railroad. 

Nina Cooke John, the architect of the design spoke about the artwork of Harriet Tubman. “I really want them to feel like they feel seen,” she said. “That they see themselves in this monument. That they feel like they belong in the space.” 

The Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs picked Cooke John’s design in June 2021 after she applied to an open call for artists who wanted to work in December 2020. 

Congratulations to Nina Cooke John for having her work displayed showcasing the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman.