Sunday, September 5, 2021

Underground Railroad Sculpture, 256 W Van Buren, Battle Creek MI ~ 9/1/21

Our first attempt to see the sculpture took place last February 😊
We returned last May and had a much better visit.
Erastus and Sarah Hussey were Quakers and abolitionists who started hiding escaping slaves in 1840. Their home became one of the main stations on the Underground Railroad in Battle Creek. Erastus and Harriet Tubman are featured on the front of the monument. There is no evidence Tubman ever set foot in Michigan but the contributions of the "Black Moses" are well-known and made her a national hero. 
One side of the monument depicts the Husseys helping escaping slaves into their home, and the details of the entire sculpture are impressive.
Harriet Tubman is shown on the other side leading slaves to their freedom.
The sculpture is 14 feet tall land 28 feet long, was constructed by Ed Dwight, and was dedicated in 1993. Besides being a well-known sculptor, Dwight was an air force jet pilot in 1962 when President Kennedy nominated him as an astronaut trainee. Dwight would have been the first African-American astronaut. After Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, NASA dropped Dwight from the program. 
Ed Dwight has two other well-known sculptures in Michigan: Rosa Parks in Grand Rapids and another Underground Railroad sculpture in Detroit.
Ed Dwight may not have made history with NASA but he's doing his part to help us remember our history.

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