Underground Railroad heroes remembered in city's new sculpture

By Amy Cherry 3:11pm, October 3, 2012 - Updated 3:14pm, October 3, 2012
Take a look at the new sculpture in Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park.
The city unveils a new statue to honor underground railroad heroes Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett.

WDEL's Amy Cherry was there.

Click here to listen

The nine-foot, 3,000 pound bronze sculpture stands tall in the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, as a reminder of some of our history's darkest moments.

"Because this evil of slavery, you cannot justify it under any sense of humanity. When people kill and destroy other people because of who they are, they're evil!" says Mayor Jim Baker.

Click here to listen

The statue entitled "Unwavering Courage in the Pursuit of Freedom," was commissioned by California artist Mario Chiodo, who says he was inspired by his research.

"The things that are difficult to tell that most people don't want to tell like Harriet Tubman would drug the babies in order to get them through the passage; the slaves, their clothes are disintegrating," says Chiodo.

Click here to listen

The $220,000 project was funded through the city's Percent for Arts fund.

Chiodo says the project took him six months though a sculpture like this typically takes a year, especially because of the close attention he paid to the details.

"Thomas Garrett in all the stress and tension in his posture to be doing what he did and putting his own life at risk. That's something you really have to ponder for hour after hour," explains the artist.

Click here to listen

Mayor Baker says public art like this statue is needed because people simply don't know their own history.

"And a scar on American life has been its slavery, and we're not going to let anybody forget it," he said.

Click here to listen

Most Recent Stories