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The detailed symbolism in this new Harriet Tubman statue does justice to her life's work

The detailed symbolism in this new Harriet Tubman statue does justice to her life's work

A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

Harriet Tubman was the best known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses that helped thousands of enslaved black Americans make their way to freedom in the north in the early-to-mid 1800s. Tubman herself escaped slavery in 1849, then kept returning to the Underground Railroad, risking her life to help lead others to freedom. She worked as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War, and after the war dedicated her life to helping formerly enslaved people try to escape poverty.


RELATED: There's a new stamp that lets you legally transform $20 bills with the face of Harriet Tubman.

Commissioned by a private individual, the 9-foot Tubman statue will be displayed in a private building in Dallas, Texas. Wofford was bound by a non-disclosure agreement until the piece was finished, but he has now begun to share photos of the piece along with the story behind its creation.

In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 7,000 times, Wofford shares images of the statue taken at the foundry where it was cast in bronze. The photos show a determined Harriet Tubman pushing against the wind with a freed slave child holding on to her arm and finger behind her.

[facebook https://www.facebook.com/184570231385/posts/10156161563061386?sfns=mo) expand=1]


Wesley Wofford Sculpture Studio/Facebook

Wofford explained some of the symbolism in the sculpture's details in a comment:

"There is a lot of embedded symbolism within the narrative of the piece. The contours of the base represent the Maryland/Delaware Peninsula, where Harriet was enslaved, eventually escaped, and continued to return for her freedom raids. The dramatic step up/cut is the Pennsylvania state line, and they are stepping out of the slave states to an elevated freedom. The wind illustrates the peril of the journey but is also a metaphor for the intense opposition she faced. The dress is enveloping the girl, billowing protectively like a flag, and is meant to represent all of the legal protections afforded every United States citizen-a symbol of the future equality to come. Each hand signifies an attribute, Determination, Protection, Fear, and Trust. The Union military coat represents Harriet's time in South Carolina raiding plantations and bringing the freed slaves back to Union occupied Beaufort."

RELATED: This teacher's viral door decoration highlights a gut-wrenching truth about slavery.

Such details give depth and meaning to an already striking piece, and an added layer of humanity to the story it tells. Wofford's description of the symbolism is a powerful reminder of how art can bring history closer to us and drive home the emotional elements of human stories that textbooks often overlook.

Wofford says that more details about the creation of the piece will be shared publicly in the coming weeks. Can't wait.

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Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

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In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

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