A symbolic transformation is set for this morning at the Wyman Park Dell, where a piece of the park that for many years housed a monument to two Confederate generals will be rededicated to a heralded Maryland-born abolitionist.
“Wyman Park Dell is Baltimore’s first rededication of a former confederate site,” Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said in a release Friday. “We can think of no better heroine than Harriet Tubman to lead us into this new era for our City and its residents.”
Last August, Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the monument of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee (and three others) torn down in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning. Her call came hours after the Baltimore City Council voted to remove the relics to the Lost Cause, and under mounting public pressure to tear them out in the wake of the white supremacist-fueled unrest in Charlottesville that left three dead and nearly three dozen injured.
With an empty marble statue base, the city and the nonprofit Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts have since begun soliciting proposals for what should go there in place of the old statues. While that remains up in the air, Clarke, whose district includes the dell, and others introduced a proposal to rename the corner of the park in honor of Harriet Tubman, who helped free hundreds of slaves along her Underground Railroad, and also served as a spy for the Union Army. The measure passed in late February, and was promptly signed by the mayor.
Clarke, Pugh, Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and officials from the Department of Recreation of Parks are all planning to be on hand tomorrow for the ceremony.
Civil rights activists Marvin “Doc” Cheatham and Owen Silverman Andrews will be speaking, Pastor Leah White of Greater Faith Baptist Church will be preaching and the Morgan State Choir will be singing, according to a release.
The dedication will take place on the 105th anniversary of Tubman’s death.
10-11 a.m., Wyman Park Dell, 3000 N. Charles Street, wymanparkdell.org.
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