Journey to freedom: Georgetown community honors its historical connection to abolitionist Harriet Tubman

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:46 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WMBF) - Commemorating the history of those who’ve paved the way, community leaders across Georgetown are excited to honor the city’s culture and heritage with a new sculpture.

The Georgetown community is getting ready to pay homage to abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

She left a rich legacy focused on education throughout the city.

“What an American story,” said Founder and President of the Gullah Geechee Chamber Foundation, Marilyn Hemingway.

“So if anybody asks ‘does anything come out of Georgetown?’ tell them, Harriet Tubman,” said local Historian and Author, Steve Williams.

Coming together and remembering the footsteps that paved the way, the city of Georgetown is honoring the contributions of the American hero and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

While Tubman never lived in Georgetown, her nephew, James A. Bowley came to the city in 1867.

During that time, public education wasn’t free for any race.

As Bowley became a pillar in the Georgetown community, his aunt became involved, helping to raise over $500 for education twice, through a freedom’s fair.

Today, that would be roughly $10,000.

“So James went to Auburn, New York, got the money, the books, got the food, got the supplies, and brought it back to the students of Georgetown.”

The Gullah Geechee Chamber Foundation along with many community partners will now pay tribute with a monumental bring Harriet Home: Journey To Freedom Sculpture of Tubman that will stand around 9 ft tall at the Joseph Hayne Rainey Park in Georgetown.

School leaders say students across the district learn about the importance of slavery and abolition starting in the fourth grade.

They add this sculpture is an opportunity for them to learn about her significance.

“Being able to come and see a sculpture in person is going to make a big difference and help them to learn and retain the information that they’re going to discover about Harriet Tubman,” said Superintendent of Georgetown County Schools District, Keith Price.

As many across Georgetown work through racial differences and backgrounds, leaders say it’s something that can unify.

“I think it gives us an opportunity to know more about each other know more about our local history and the impact to this day and hopefully it continues some conversations that have been happening regarding diversity equity and inclusion but from a place of knowledge of the history,” said Hemingway.

The sculpture will be unveiled on August 1 and will be at Joseph Hayne Rainey Park until October 31.