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The highly anticipated museum will open this Saturday, June 19. Photo: njit.edu
The highly anticipated museum will open this Saturday, June 19. Photo: njit.edu

The Harriet Tubman Museum is set to open on June 19 in Cape May

After a COVID-19 delay, the museum is one of the most anticipated openings of the year.

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In honor of the new federal holiday, Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the emancipation of African-American slaves, organizers and community members are set to celebrate at the new Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May N.J.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m., and an event will ring in the museum’s opening on the same day, June 19, two blocks away at the Rotary Park.

The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children under 10.

The event will also stream on YouTube and Facebook Live for those who choose to attend virtually.

The museum has been heralded by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the most anticipated-museums in the world, and one of the 10 Best New Museums by USA Today.

A ribbon cutting was held last September, with Gov. Phil Murphy in attendance, many special events are also taking place this Saturday, including performances by the Pan African Rhythm Cooperative, local drummers, and professional reenactments that will depict soldiers from the 22nd U.S. Colored Infantry.

Cynthia Mullock, executive director of the Harriet Tubman museum, told the Press of Atlantic City that reenactors will provide a special ceremony in honor of family members related to African-American soldiers.

“They will present the regimental flag to some local descendants of Civil War heroes,” Mullock said.

Organizers have been working many years to officially get the museum up and running, and despite many delays thanks to COVID-19, residents are excited to engage at Saturday’s upcoming event.

“There’s been tremendous interest locally and all over the country,” she said.

The new museum is focused on bringing attention to the struggles and accomplishments of Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist who led dozens of slaves to freedom in the North by way of the Underground Railroad.

Tubman helped around 70 people to freedom, becoming one of the most inspirational and significant activists in American history.

To commemorate her leadership, the museum will showcase a large, 2,000 pound, bronze statue, which shows Tubman escorting a young boy to freedom.

“It was just installed last week. We had to disassemble the doors in the back to get it in,” Mullock said. “We’re so grateful to have it back for this summer.”

The building that became the museum was previously the home of the late Reverend Davis, who was the pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church for 47 years.

It took many years to renovate the former rectory, but now the museum is ready to welcome people who are curious to learn more about Harriet Tubman and the history of Cape May’s Black community.

As COVID-19 restrictions start to lift, now is the perfect time to pay a visit to the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May.

Profit from ticket sales will be used to maintain the museum.

For more information on The Harriet Tubman Museum, visit its website.

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