Harriet Tubman travelling statue is in Rochester for two months

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – You now have another reason to visit Washington Square Park in the heart of the Flower City. A beautiful statue now graces the southeast corner. The “Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom” travelling statue is crisscrossing the country in honor of the abolitionist’s 200th birthday. It was unveiled Friday in Rochester to the cheers of about a hundred attendees. 

The 2,200 lb., nine foot tall statue shows the famous abolitionist ushering a child to freedom. Tubman is credited with freeing hundreds of slaves and helping the union army as a nurse, spy, and scout. After the civil war, she chose Auburn, NY as her home where she established a home for aging African-Americans.

Friday’s ceremony featured tributes that honored her legacy from Tubman’s great, great, great niece and actors who performed Tubman re-enactments.

“My heart is overwhelmed with this honor for her, and I can’t wait for the day for the 20 dollar bill to come out with her photo on it because she deserves it,” said Geraldine Howard, Tubman’s great, great, great niece.

Mayor Evans spoke about the proud legacy of African-American women and said the accomplishments of today’s leaders can be attributed to the work done by Tubman and many others. “She did things for us so that I could stand here as your mayor. If it wasn’t for Harriett Tubman I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” said Evans.

State Senator Samra Brouk agreed. “I am standing on the great shoulders of women like Harriett Tubman,” she said.

Maggie Moore-Holley, dressed as Harriett Tubman belted out spirituals with a deep rich voice one would imagine Tubman would also have.

“When you get tired, you keep ‘uh goin’. When the hounds start hounding you and hear the dogs a barkin’ you keep ‘uh goin’. if you wanna really be free,” said Moore-Holley during a Tubman re-enactment.

Two children, Jasiyah Sheffield and Mackenzie Mitchell, both performed poetry.

Mitchell was dressed as Tubman as she performed the first person poem which ended with a challenge for listeners. “Harriet Tubman you should know my name, and pick up my torch to carry freedom’s flame,” she said.

Assemblyman Demond Meeks talked about the need for atonement and forgiveness. He asked white Rochesterians to stand and acknowledge the wrongs of the past and asked blacks to forgive.  The traveling statue will remain in Rochester until October 31st.