By MIKE ALEWITZ
Harriet Tubman (Rest in power, March 10, 1913) Lumberjack / Conductor on the Underground Railroad / Armed Insurrectionist / Suffragist / Nurse
When I was commissioned to create a series of murals for the new millennium, I chose Harriet Tubman, and the struggle for reparations from slavery, as my subject. The central image of the mural was censored, a second mural was vandalized by Nazis, and this piece was destroyed by the City of Cambridge, Md., Harriet’s birthplace.
I WILL NOT DISARM HARRIET TUBMAN
“Harriet Tubman was a fierce opponent of slavery in all it’s forms. She was opposed by the southern slave-master and northern industrialist alike. She was an organizer, educator, leader of the abolitionist movement, feminist, conductor jji jji on the underground railroad and armed insurrectionist against slavery. Then, as now, Harriet was feared not because she carried a gun, but because she organized a mass, militant and uncompromising struggle for social justice.
“There are those who would like to transform Harriet Tubman into a safe and acceptable icon for corporate America. They wish to disarm her both physically and politically. I will not help them. I will not disarm Harriet Tubman.
“Harriet Tubman does not belong to any individual or group. She is a figure of international stature. She belongs to working people throughout the world. Harriet Tubman’s life, the war to end slavery, and the continuation of that struggle today, deserves to be portrayed in murals, poems and songs by many artists.”
— Excerpts from a press statement issued on June 14, 2000, by Mike Alewitz, in response to calls to remove a rifle from the mural, THE DREAMS OF HARRIET TUBMAN:
Image: MONUMENT TO HARRIET TUBMAN (Front View)
From the series: THE DREAMS OF HARRIET TUBMAN
by Mike Alewitz/ 2000
Vandalized, then destroyed by city officials of Cambridge, Md.