The Maryland General Assembly unveiled statues of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass during a ceremony Monday night in the room where slavery was abolished in the state.
The two life-sized, bronze statues were dedicated during a special joint session of the Maryland General Assembly in the Old House Chamber, ABC News reports. Slavery was abolished in the same room in 1864, and the dedication coincides with Black History Month. (Related: Remembering Harriet Tubman On The Centennial Of Her Death)
Officials unveiled bronze statues of famed abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass during a ceremony Monday night at the Maryland State House. https://t.co/nozt6vFgLX pic.twitter.com/mTn6PmXiGq
— ABC News (@ABC) February 11, 2020
The statues convey Tubman and Douglass as they would have appeared in age and dress that year. Both abolitionists were born in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Tubman became a leading abolitionist, helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and earned the nickname “Moses” for never getting herself or those she guided captured. Douglass also escaped slavery and led the abolitionist movement, publishing his memoir “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” which fueled the movement in the 19th century.
The commissioning of the statues began over three years ago, but their unveiling coincides with House Speaker Adrienne Jones’ leadership in the state legislature, as the first black and first female House speaker, per ABC. Jones assumed office in April 2019.
“A mark of true greatness is shining light on a system of oppression and having the courage to change it,” Jones said.