Georgetown Honors Harriet Tubman with ‘The Journey to Freedom’ Statue

By Scotty T. Reid, BTRN – On August 5, 2023, a new monument graced Joseph Hayne Rainey Park in Georgetown, South Carolina. The community came together for the grand unveiling of “The Journey to Freedom” – a bronze statue weighing approximately 2,400 lbs which is also a traveling exhibit by Wofford Sculpture Studio, LLC.

This powerful piece captures a moment from history: Harriet Tubman, once a slave herself, saving a child from the bonds of servitude.

Harriet Tubman’s life mission revolved around a singular desire: freedom. “Tubman dreamed of freedom, liberty, emancipation,” reflected Marilyn Hemingway, CEO of Gullah GeeChee Chamber of Commerce.

Born a slave in Maryland, Tubman made her escape to Philadelphia. However, freedom for herself was not enough. The impending sale of her niece, Kessiah Bowley, and her children, James and Araminta, prompted Tubman to devise a courageous plan to save them from an auction in Cambridge, Maryland, recounted Hemingway.

Throughout her life, Tubman undertook 13 perilous missions back to Maryland, rescuing approximately 70 slaves. Proudly, she once declared, “I was the conductor on the underground railroad for 8 years, and I can proudly say I never derailed my train, nor lost a passenger.”

James Bowley, Tubman’s great nephew whom she had rescued, made Georgetown his home and went on to contribute as a state representative and educator.

Reflecting on her great, great, great grand-aunt’s legacy, Ernestine Martin Wyatt commented on Tubman’s enduring impact. “The world needs more souls like hers,” Wyatt noted. She hopes that when people gaze upon this statue, they’re reminded of the importance of helping one another. “We must uplift and support each other, just as she did,” Wyatt emphasized.

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