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What’s Wrong
With This Picture?

The Dreams of Harriet Tubman  (Mike Alewitz)

© 2000 Mike Alewitz

The Dreams of Harriet Tubman is a mural looking for a wall in Baltimore. Artist Mike Alewitz, who has created murals and banners for the Labor Party, UE and the FAT, was commissioned to do a series of murals in Maryland honoring Harriet Tubman. Born a slave in Maryland, Tubman (1820?-1913) escaped to freedom — but returned to the slave states repeatedly to help free others.

The original host of the central mural — the image shown here — objected to Tubman’s rifle and withdrew its offer of a wall. According to Alewitz, the mural depicts Tubman as she was known: "Moses. Harriet is shown parting the seas of reaction, as she did in her life. Her staff is the rifle that she carried. The children of Israel are the slave armies who resisted their bondage and joined the Union ranks. Drowning in the tide is Pharaoh’s tribe: the slavers and other forces of reaction."

The lack of a major wall in Baltimore has not been the only setback. A mural in the Harriet Tubman series on the wall of a school in Harford County was defaced last summer by racist graffiti. Undeterred, Alewitz is proceeding with murals in other Maryland sites that show scenes from the freedom fighter’s life.

UE News - 02/01

Home -> UE News -> 2001 Archives -> Article

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