BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore celebrated Harriet Tubman Day by rededicating Wyman Park Dell, which was once a Confederate site.
A special ceremony united the community to honor underground railroad leader Harriet Tubman.
“Means a lot to me. Very happy to see all these people come out and celebrate her day,” said Baltimore resident Kim Williams.
A portion of the park is now renamed Harriet Tubman Grove.
Last year, Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the removal of all four of Baltimore’s Confederate statues, including the statue of Confederate Generals Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee at Wyman Park Dell.
“We officially asked the mayor of the City of Baltimore to take down the two Confederate statues, and at the time we were asked what did we want in its place and without a doubt, everyone there said this needs to be Harriet Tubman,” community activist Marvin “Doc” Cheatham said.
Saturday marked the 105th anniversary of Tubman’s death. Dozens of people, including Tubman’s family members and city leaders, celebrated the rededication.
“It helps bring the community values to important places and help to weave together the community. This place is really interesting. Since the statues were removed, it has become a gathering place,” Baltimore Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said.
The gathering place has now been renamed to recognize the Maryland native who is remembered as an American hero.
“We still need to learn to fight for the freedom of everybody, because we all need equal opportunities out here in this world and in order to get it, we all need to come together,” said Baltimore resident Carroll Carter.
“For new things to be coming around for youth and older people, so they could see our voices are being heard all ages, all colors,” said artiImaniani White.
The first Baltimore rededication of a Confederate monument site is an example of community engagement to create a positive change.
In addition to Wyman Park Dell, there are three other former Confederate sites. It’s unclear if and when those will also be rededicated.
Harriet Tubman Day celebrations were held all across Maryland, including at the state capital.