A section of a Baltimore park which had Confederate monuments until last year has been rededicated to honor abolitionist Harriet Tubman, CBS has reported.
A ceremony was held to mark the occasion at Wyman Park Dell on Saturday, Harriet Tubman Day and the 105th anniversary of the Maryland native’s death.Last August Baltimore removed four Confederate monuments, including those of Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee that had been at this site since 1948, following the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, CNN reported.
At the ceremony, Baltimore resident Carroll Carter said, “We still need to learn to fight for the freedom of everybody, because we all need equal opportunities out here in this world and in order to get it, we all need to come together,” according to CBS.
Ernestine Jones-Williams, a descendant of Tubman who spoke on behalf of the family, thanked the city for the move and said, “We stand on the shoulders of this great woman. We are overwhelmed,” the Baltimore Sun reported.
Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland, before escaping and helping others do the same through her work on the Underground Railroad, according to CNN. She later also advocated for the right of women to vote.
Jackson Gilman-Forlini, who works for the Baltimore Municipality as a historic preservationist, told the Sun, “Monuments are seen as permanent, sort of monolithic structures, but inherently their meanings change over time, and really the removal of these monuments was not so much about monuments in general, but about the kind of values that we as a society want to promote. This is now the next logical step in the process of asserting those values, those positive values of inclusion, of tolerance, of speaking out against prejudice.”