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HSRC on the Radio: Harriet Tubman

2021-04-19 Crossroads Image-Tubman
April 19, 2021

Tune in to the next episode of Crossroads of Rockland History on

Monday, April 19, 9:30 am, on WRCR 1700AM

Did you know that Haverstraw will be the next stop on tour of an extraordinary sculpture of Harriet Tubman? Ginny Norfleet of the Haverstraw African-American Connection will be on hand to tell us about how the 2,400-pound bronze statue entitled Harriet Tubman: Journey to Freedom will make its way to Rockland County. The nationally touring sculpture will be unveiled in Haverstraw on April 20 and will stay through the Juneteenth holiday. We’ll learn about all of the interesting programs surrounding this special visit and how you can see the sculpture.

Ginny Norfleet is the founder of the Haverstraw African-American Connection, whose mission is to research, recover, preserve, and teach the rich culture and contributions of African Americans, with an emphasis on the African American people of Haverstraw. The sculpture Harriet Tubman: Journey to Freedom depicts Tubman confidently leading a young girl on the Underground Railroad to freedom from bondage.

“There is a lot of embedded symbolism within the narrative of the piece,
says Wesley Wofford, the creator of the statue. 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 dress is enveloping the young girl, billowing protectively like a flag, and is meant to represent all the legal protections afforded every United States citizen-a symbol of the future equality to come. Each hand on the sculpture signifies an attribute: Determination, Protection, Fear, and Trust. The young girl is leaning out to get a better look at where Harriet is taking her with a look of trepidation on her face. She is gripping Harriet’s right arm tightly, but her delicate finger grasp is cautiously hopeful. The girl is off balance and tentatively taking a step forward-her left foot precariously hanging off a cliff, illustrating the danger and peril of the journey. The shackles are broken, and the atrocities of slavery are left forever behind.”

About the Artist: Wesley Wofford, an Emmy- and Academy Award-winning sculptor, works from his private studio in the National Forest of North Carolina. His studio is filled with sculptures at various stages of completion, the large commissions occupying the same space as portraits, gallery pieces, and maquette studies. He was awarded Signature Status with the Portrait Society of America in March 2015 and is an elected member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas. Wofford’s sculpture is recognized on a national and international level, with various awards and publications celebrating and featuring his work.

Learn more about the Haverstraw African-American Connection at


"Crossroads of Rockland History," a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 am, right after the Steve and Jeff morning show, on WRCR radio 1700 AM and Join host Clare Sheridan as we explore, celebrate, and learn about our local history, with different topics and guest speakers every month. During 2020, our focus is Women’s History in celebration of the Suffrage Centennial. We are pleased to announce that we have begun loading our archived podcasts to the Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify platforms.

The Historical Society of Rockland County is a nonprofit educational institution and principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to Rockland County. Its headquarters are a four-acre site featuring a history museum and the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House in New City, New York.


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