The Harriet Tubman: The Beacon of Hope traveling monument travels to Rahway

RAHWAY, NJ — In honor of both Black History Month and one of American history’s most influential individuals, the city of Rahway welcomes the Harriet Tubman: The Beacon of Hope traveling monument from Thursday, Feb. 1, through Thursday, Feb. 29. The 13-foot bronze statue created by sculptor Wesley Wofford of Wofford Sculpture Studio will be on display at City Hall Plaza, located at 1 City Hall Plaza, Rahway, all month long. An official community celebration will take place on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.

Tubman, originally known as Araminta Ross, was born into slavery and emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience during a pivotal era in American history. Renowned as a courageous abolitionist, she not only liberated herself but dedicated her life to freeing countless others through the Underground Railroad.

Tubman’s unwavering commitment to justice and equality is vividly captured in the monument, which portrays her as a free woman, extending an encouraging hand to the viewer. A closer look reveals a golden “generational key” in her hand, inspiring observers to unlock their inner strength and forge their destinies, mirroring Tubman’s own resilience.

As described by Wofford Sculpture Studio, the oxen yoke is a metaphor for the yoke of slavery. It also illustrates the legendary story of Araminta’s youth which describes her single-handedly steering a team of oxen for her father. The piled shackles and chains depict all of the lives adversely affected by the scourge of slavery. The open shackles represent those freed by Tubman and others on the Underground Railroad, while the locked ones depict those not liberated until after the Civil War. The closed manacles also symbolize the unfinished work ahead of us, essential to achieving a just and equitable future for all.

“Harriet Tubman’s legacy is a testament to the power of determination, compassion and the pursuit of justice. The city of Rahway is truly honored to be The Beacon of Hope’s third stop along its ‘Freedom Tour’ throughout the country and we are excited to celebrate Tubman’s enduring spirit as we strive to embody the principles she championed,” said Mayor Raymond Giacobbe.

Rahway will be celebrating Black History Month with a variety of activities and educational experiences throughout the month of February. Visit to learn more.