Day of Re­silience cel­e­brates Tub­man, statue un­veiled

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By MIKE DETMER mdet­mer@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — The Day of Re­silience 2020 cel­e­brated the un­veil­ing of a bronze sculp­ture of Har­riet Tub­man in front of the Dorch­ester County Court­house with speak­ers, mu­si­cians and dancers on Satur­day af­ter­noon, Sept. 12, in Cam­bridge.

The Day of Re­silience was or­ga­nized by Adrian Holmes and Al­pha Gen­e­sis

Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, with sup­port from the Con­stituency for Africa, Dorch­ester County and the City of Cam­bridge. The statue is a replica of an orig­i­nal sculp­ture by Emmy and Academy award-win­ner Wes­ley Wof­ford, and it de­picts Tub­man con­fi­dently lead­ing a slave girl on the Un­der­ground Rail­road to free­dom. It will be a tem­po­rary out­door ex­hibit at the court­house on High Street and will re­main on ex­hibit un­til Oct. 9.

Holmes spoke in in­tro­duc­tion, and Nana Malaya gave the wel­come and led the au­di­ence in a dance and in giv

ing a cho­rus of tra­di­tional greetings.

Tashina Fowler, who brought the idea of host­ing the sculp­ture to Holmes, de­scribed her re­ac­tion when she saw the orig­i­nal on Face­book: “I was just in awe.”

Fowler said she thought, “She has to be here; she needs to be home; this is where she be­longs,”

Poet Taj Alexan­der performed a spo­ken word piece de­scrib­ing a con­ver­sa­tion between two peo­ple about es­cap­ing to free­dom, with one of the speak­ers en­cour­ag­ing the other, who was afraid to try.

“I’ve seen the op­por­tu­ni­ties of free­dom and they’re

enor­mous,” Alexan­der said. “Don’t you want to be free? Well, fol­low me,” his poem con­cluded.

Dorch­ester County Cir­cuit Court Judge Brett Wil­son said he was glad Dorch­ester was cel­e­brat­ing Har­riet’s statue in­stead of fight­ing to keep a statue hon­or­ing those who fought to en­slave her, a ref­er­ence to the Tal­bot Boys con­tro­versy in Tal­bot County.

Wil­son said, “Her (Tub­man’s) fi­nal words were, ‘I go to pre­pare a place for you.’ Well, we’ve pre­pared a place for her.”

PHOTO BY MIKE DETMER

Dancers stand in a dra­matic fi­nal pose in front of the vis­it­ing Har­riet Tub­man sculp­ture after per­form­ing to the song “Stand Up” from the re­cent ma­jor mo­tion pic­ture about Tub­man’s life.

MIKE DETMER

Omeakia Jack­son, April Byrd, Tashina Fowler and Adrian Holmes stand in front of the Har­riet Tub­man statue in front of the Dorch­ester County Cir­cuit Court­house.

MIKE DETMER

Taj Alexan­der per­forms a spo­ken word poem at the Day of Re­silience.

MIKE DETMER

Mem­bers of the United African Drum and Dance Ensem­ble per­form.

MIKE DETMER

Drum­mers from the United African Drum and Dance Ensem­ble per­form at the Day of Re­silience.

MIKE DETMER

A drum­mer from the United African Drum and Dance Ensem­ble per­forms at the Day of Re­silience.

MIKE DETMER

A child ob­serves the Har­riet Tub­man Sculp­ture.

MIKE DETMER

A man kneels in a mo­ment of re­spect and re­flec­tion at the vis­it­ing Har­riet Tub­man statue in Cam­bridge.

MIKE DETMER

Drum­mers from the United African Drum and Dance Ensem­ble per­form at the Day of Re­silience.

MIKE DETMER

Nana Malaya sings and dances after the un­veil­ing of the vis­it­ing Har­riet Tub­man statue.

MIKE DETMER

A dancer per­forms dur­ing the Day of Re­silience.

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