Posted on June 18, 2021

Newark Picks Harriet Tubman Monument Design to Replace Christopher Columbus Statue

Noah Cohen,, June 18, 2021

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Thursday announced the selected design for the Harriet Tubman monument that will replace a statue of Christopher Columbus, which was removed last year from the city’s Washington Park.

Artist Nina Cooke John’s design, called “Shadow of a Face,” will be installed at the park during the summer of 2022, according to the mayor’s office. The park and nearby area, which includes the Newark Museum of Art and Newark Public Library, will also be renamed Tubman Square to honor the abolitionist.

“Nearly one year after our nation’s racial reckoning and just in time for this year’s celebration of Juneteenth, we are proud to announce the design selected for our new Harriet Tubman monument,” Baraka said in a statement.

“It is only fitting that we memorialize Tubman’s heroic efforts leading enslaved Africans to freedom via the Underground Railroad at this time of year when we celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Ms. John’s work of public art will be a symbol of hope and optimism for generations to come, not only for our Newark community, but also for the entire country,” the mayor said.

City officials said the monument will offer visitors a “multi-sensory experience,” with a large profile of Tubman and text throughout the area to highlight dates in her life and names of safe houses in New Jersey.