Philadelphia’s officials decided on a new Harriet Tubman statue, which will take place in front of the City Hall. The placing of the statue has a historical meaning – it marks the first representation of a Black woman. Overall, it will be a part of the city’s public collection. The city was previously “under fire” for choosing a white man artist at first.
Philadelphia’s Bronze Statue to Renowned Revolutionary Tubman
Alvin Pettit, a sculptor from Jersey City, defeated four other semifinalists. A Higher Power: The Call of a Freedom Fighter, his bronze monument, will attain a height of about 14 feet. It will show Tubman atop a heap of shattered chains. Also, it will depist a gun slung over her shoulder, her hands clasped in prayer.
“She is shown in majestic prayer. Perhaps she is calling upon her faith or contemplating a battle. I captured a moment in time that shows her as a conqueror“, Pettit explained as he displayed an illustration made of dough for the project. He shared this information at his conference, which took place on Monday.
Renowned revolutionary Tubman used the Underground Railroad to help liberate enslaved individuals of colour after escaping enslavement in the American South. During the American Civil War, she served in the Union Army as a nurse, scout, and informant.
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Wesley Wofford’s Role
Last year, when a travelling version of his 2017 Tubman memorial was on display at city hall, municipal officials made available the assignment to North Carolina-based artist Wesley Wofford. Artists and activists objected to the decision, arguing that a Black artist ought to have been given the chance in its place.
Following Wofford’s programme cancellation, the city’s department of arts, culture, and the creative economy put out a solicitation for applications in August 2022. Before permitting the audience to vote, city officials selected the candidates. The African American statuary advisory committee in Philadelphia, which includes Tubman’s family members, and city authorities made the final decision.
Pettit has previously created large-scale sculptures of notable Black figures. His earlier sculptures feature the well-known singer Marian Anderson and the educator and philanthropist Mary McLeod Bethune. The $500,000 project cost will be covered by a charge to the city’s operating budget. By 2025, it is expected to be finished.