New Jersey Replaces Christopher Columbus Statue with Harriet Tubman

A new monument honoring Harriet Tubman has been unveiled in Newark, New Jersey, replacing a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed in 2020 following the George Floyd riots. Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka stated, “in a time when so many cities are choosing to topple statues 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.” 

The Blaze reports the monument, designed by New Jersey native and architect Nina Cooke John, is titled “Shadow of a Face” and honors Tubman and the city’s role in the Underground Railroad. Its design celebrates the legacy of Harriet Tubman and the lives of the people living in Newark today, connecting their story to Tubman’s story through a common bond of liberty seekers in the past and present. 

The unveiling ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, politicians, and celebrities, including Queen Latifah and New Jersey’s first lady Tammy Murphy. The mayor claims the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue is not “an insult to the Italian-American community” but rather “a statement against the barbarism, enslavement, and oppression” he believes Columbus represents.

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