by Will Parson
March 05, 2020
In 2019, a new mural of Harriet Tubman garnered widespread acclaim that was fitting for the national icon. Visitors to Maryland’s Eastern Shore can find the artwork on the side of the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center in Cambridge.
Painted by Dorchester County artist Michael Rosato, the mural depicts Tubman breaking through the brick facade of the museum, extending her hand to the viewer. It evokes the many times Tubman aided people in their escape from slavery, while also beckoning present-day visitors to imagine joining her in the world she inhabited.
One such visitor was Sonya Smith, a resident of Cambridge. Last year she stopped by the mural with her husband Marques and daughter Coree Young, who emulated a pose made by a girl in a photo that went viral after the mural was unveiled.
"I love it," Smith said. "To come down and just look at this and see how he did that, it's just an awesome feeling."
In a physical sense, Tubman’s world—of frigid marshes where she trapped muskrats and sprawling farm fields where she labored as an enslaved person—still exists. Visitors to Dorchester County can channel Tubman at 36 sites on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The museum is one of five byway sites in Cambridge alone.