Harriet Tubman Memorial

Does anyone have an explanation as to why the statue of Harriet Tubman located at the Harriet Tubman Memorial Plaza is facing toward the South and not the North?

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21 thoughts on “Harriet Tubman Memorial

  1. Pingback: Why Is Harriet Tubman Facing South? « HARLEM HAPPENINGS

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  6. To the family of this great LADY, please contact me at 813-500-7484 or 813-4014103, I would like to invite you to an event that we will having on August 16, 2008 in Tampa, Florida. We are a group of citizens who have been enslaved by South the Masters that still remain and we are tired. We have formed a group called ” The Sons & Daughters of Harriet Tubman” and we want your blessing to continue on with our work.

  7. If we would study our history we all will find that often Harriet would reverse her route to head south instead of north in order to confuse those who would be tracking her. When she felt it was safe to continue North then and only then would she reverse her route to travel North. Traveling South was not only designed to throw off those who were trying to capture her, the primary intention was to keep her passengers safe from capture. Again, if you study Harriet’s history she never lost a passenger. The roots could represent her strength and determination to grow another nation of free persons. Harriet was deeply connected to her community and risked her life many times to recover members of her community. Her mission was greater than her journey, her mission was rooted in deep faith and conviction to respond and serve her higher self.



  9. On Sunday, Mother’s Day 2008, women will be gathering at the foot of Mother Tubman’s statue. We will walk from there to Mother Hale’s House. This will be a Walk of Rememberance for our community in Harlem to recognize the greatness of our Women. We will also be remembering those Mother’s who do not have their children with them due to violence, particuarly Sean Bell’s Mother, Malcom Fergurson’s Mother and Cory Meekin’s Mother. We invite all to enjoin in our Walk as we push for reform of policing policies in our communities, in our schools and in our nation. We call on all as Mrs. Bell requests that we do not go out to eat but rather cook a dinner for Mother and spend it as a family, at home.
    (for reference See the History of the 1st Mother’s Day as proclaimed by Julia Ward in 1870)

  10. Greetings,
    Harriet Tubman’s roots are not in the South… they are in Auburn, New York where she lived the last 40 years of her life, and she died in this very same place (buried at Fort Hill Cemetary, also located in Auburn, New York). Her home is still there (The Harriet Tubman Home) and many relatives still reside there… Her Great Grand Niece Geraldine Copes-Daniels will be honored in Atlanta on April 12, 2008 by her family also. Ben Ross, who later had his name changed by his master to James Stewart, was her Great GRandfather and the brother to Harriet. Geraldine’s Grandmother, Mary Ross, was Harriet’s Niece… and therefore Geraldine’s Mother, Jenny Gaskin-Copes was her Grand Niece. Aunt Harriet did not have any children of her own. Geraldine is my Mother and is now 75 years old…she has traveled to Ghana and has been recognized by many dignitaries for her lineage… Please feel free to contact me at rdn7650@aol.com… With sincere love, Rita

  11. Alison Saar is clearly cluless. she is probably used to hiding her ignorance and laziness to do research under the cloak of artistic expression. This statue represents the exodus of Black Harlem, the lack of power of the loong time Harlem residents against real estate monsters( hence her missing rifle)
    The roots represent the uprooting of Black Harlem from its present location(we have been uprroted from the Village and in the 50th street area before we made Harlem the Black Mecca)and the faces are us being forced out. The locomotive front of her dress reps the speed in which this is happening. Look out for the petition to turn hHarriet back north. Write this artist and your public officials to correct this grave error-for history’s sake and the subconcious minds of the blacks that are still left in black Harlam-especially the children.

  12. The reason why there are roots coming out of her dress….cousin Harriet and the Underground Railroad Movement that she started in America is symbolic that she and her family are apart of the Roots of America- the beginning of FREEDOM & EQUALITY that transecended racial and economic lines….The very ideals all immigrants who come here look for! She is the American Icon for that!

    She is facing south because that is the direction she traveled everytime she made the decision to return to free another family member.”when i crossed the line to freedom…i touched my hand and realized that i was free, if i was free, so should they”[family members]…” Harriet

    Annual Harriet Tubman Day? Great historical photos!
    This Harriet Tubman Day Celebration to take place March 8th, 2008 is in recognition of the Underground Railroad Movement she started here in Philadelphia and will be a small gathering of Tubman family members from Philadelphia, New York, and Virginia. Events culminate with the Answer the Call to Freedom Dinner/exhibit at the Supper Club Temptations located in the heart of Germantown where many abolishionists and Quakers assisted her efforts for freedom. For information, donations or tickets contact : Viveca @ 215.548.1803

  13. It is never easy to create a public work of art that will answer and satify all the questions and expectations of society. Granted, it is necessary with a piece like this, that represents very serious subject matter, to stay true to the story and meaning of such a significant figure in history. I think the sculpture is quite lovely when compared to other “cookie cutter” work you see out in public. The artists name is Alison Saar to those who want to know.

  14. I think the artist sculpted her facing the South and not the North because she was always going back to help others North. The roots are to represent the people telling her to stay North now tat she was there, warning her that she might get caught or her family in the North that she had already rescued.

  15. The whole thing is stupid and reflect astounding ignorance.

    For starters,why is the facing and running SOUTH?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, was not the underground railroad a NORTHERN direction?

    The whole foundation and scheme if retarded. Here you’ve got her running SOUTH.

    Who’s responsible for this joke or ignorance? Real symbolic value incorporates real world directions and coordinates, that’s what art installations are all about.

    Can someone tell me why in the hell is she running SOUTH? Total Harlem Joke!

    Question, who’s faster running South?

    A. Tubman

    B. The Statue of Adam Clayton Powell on 125th and 7th, Running South West

    C. The Exodus of 2007 negroes from Harlem with gentrification ironically also heading south.

  16. “Another question out of curiosity: is there a plaque or something explaining why the artist has chosen to portray her in this particular way (with roots coming out of her dress etc)?”

    There is no nothing yet,that explains who the artist is or what the sculpture is about.
    In my opinion The Roots represent that Harriet Tubman’s Roots are in the south. It would make sense if she was positioned facing North and the Roots facing South.

  17. Another question out of curiosity: is there a plaque or something explaining why the artist has chosen to portray her in this particular way (with roots coming out of her dress etc)?

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