Newark, New Jersey unveils tribute to Underground Railroad icon Harriet Tubman

WABC logo
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Newark unveils massive tribute to Harriet Tubman
Newark, New Jersey is honoring a legendary American abolitionist with an enormous tribute.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Officials in Newark are honoring a legendary American abolitionist with an enormous tribute.

The Harriet Tubman monument now stands tall in Downtown Newark.

The statue was unveiled Thursday at Harriet Tubman Square on Broad Street at Washington Place and her great-great-great-grand-nieces were there for the special moment.

"It's phenomenal, it's emotional, it's breathtaking and it is impressive," said relative Michelle Jones-Galvin.

"Aunt Harriet has transcended not just to our family but through all of humanity which I love," said relative Adrianne Jones-Roderic.

Over the summer, crews officially renamed Washington Park to Harriet Tubman Square.

Newark officials chose the massive sculpture as a lasting tribute to Tubman's legacy.

Tubman escaped slavery and became one of the greatest conductors on the Underground Railroad.

The Tubman statue replaces a statue of Christopher Columbus that was removed by the city 2020.

"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. In a country where the overwhelming majority of monuments are testaments to white males, Newark has chosen to erect a monument to a Black woman who was barely five feet tall, but had the visage and power of a giant," said Mayor Baraka. "We have created a focal point in the heart of our city that expresses our participation in an ongoing living history of a people who have grappled through many conflicts to steadily lead our nation in its progress toward racial equality."

Audible, headquartered in Newark, partnered with Queen Latifah to be the force behind the interactive tribute to the abolitionist.

"It has truly been about history, legacy, home, inspiration to our future," Queen Latifah said.

WATCH | Sade Baderinwa hosts UN's observance of International Women's Day

The theme this year is "DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality."


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.