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The Harriet Tubman statue will stay at City Hall until March 31, 2022, before a new one is created thereafter. Photo: Brittany Valentine/AL DÍA News
The Harriet Tubman statue will stay at City Hall until March 31, 2022, before a new one is created thereafter. Photo: Brittany Valentine/AL DÍA News

A permanent Harriet Tubman statue will be anchored in front of City Hall

It seems like a Harriet Tubman statue will be here to stay in the City of Brotherly Love.

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Harriet Tubman, one of the most prominent abolitionists and civil rights leaders, will be getting a permanent monument dedicated for her work during the Underground Railroad missions where she helped to over 300 slaves get to the North.

In January, the city announced that they will be displaying a temporary 9-ft statue called, The Journey to Freedom, in honor of Tubman’s 200th birthday, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month, up to March 31.

However, many locals believed that Tubman deserved a permanent monument.

Kenney announced on March 10, that the new monument will be bigger than the temporary one, and will be placed in front of City Hall’s North Apron, replacing the temporary one.

The exact date of Harriet Tubman’s birth is unknown, but the City will celebrate her life on March 10, the date of her passing.

The statue will be created by Wesly Wofford, the same artist who made the temporary installation.

The statue is a part of the Harriet Tubman Celebration program, which is hosted by The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy (OACCE) where civil leaders, local politicians, and family members of Tubman have been celebrating her legacy by sharing videos, music, and other tributes.

“As the City of Philadelphia’s Chief Cultural Officer, it’s been an absolute honor to celebrate 200 years of Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy through the arts,” said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer and Executive Director of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy.

Mayor Jim Kenney believes the art installation will be a nice touch to represent the 17th century hero.

“It’s been a joy for the City of Philadelphia to honor Harriet Tubman through the ongoing Celebration of Harriet Tubman programs presented by OACCE and now with the announcement of plans to commission a permanent sculpture of Harriet Tubman at City Hall,” said Mayor Kenney.

He also said that the up and coming statue will represent, “the values of activism, heroism, equality, resilience, and more that we want inspiring all who visit City Hall.”

Congressman Brendan Boyle will also announce his introduction of legislation to the House of Representatives that would enact a federal holiday honoring Tubman.

“She was a good, decent and incredibly brave human being who worked day and night to save lives and eradicate the scourge of slavery that had infected the United States during that period,” said Congressman Boyle. “It is only fitting that her efforts are honored with a federal holiday in her name.”

The potential holiday is also something that has been quite overdue.

“Harriet Tubman’s humanitarian efforts more than a century ago still resonate with us today,” said Congressman Boyle.

So far, the city has celebrated Tubman in many ways, including having over 40 virtual events and in-person programs, including open discussions and performances.

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