Georgetown to host sculpture of American icon Harriet Tubman
GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCSC) - Harriet Tubman, best known for her underground railroad to free Southern slaves, will have a sculpture put in the middle of Georgetown for three months this summer.
Organizers said the main reasons they’re bringing the sculpture to Joseph Rainey Park on King and Front Streets are for education and for tourism.
Starting Aug. 1 until Halloween, a sculpture of Harriet Tubman will stand near the Harborwalk, and although Tubman never made it to Georgetown, she has family members who left their mark.
Specifically, James Bowley was Tubman’s great nephew and arrived in Georgetown shortly after the civil war. He then became commissioner of the county’s schools.
Local historians said Tubman raised $1,000, which is around $20,000 in today’s money, for books and supplies for Bowley to distribute to students.
Bowley would also become a state representative and head of two newspapers while living in Georgetown, and officials said he couldn’t have done that without Tubman’s help.
Gullah Geechee Chamber Foundation President Marilyn Hemingway said Tubman’s nuanced history with the area could help Georgetown address some concerns while educating people about the American icon.
“Hopefully, it continues some conversations that have been happening regarding diversity, equity and inclusion but from a place of knowledge of the history,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for us to come together and learn locally and beyond Georgetown but to also take what we long and bring us closer.”
Georgetown County Schools Superintendent Keith Price said students will have field trips to see the sculpture while it visits the city, and after Halloween, the sculpture will travel to Brookgreen Gardens.
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