Because Canada had outlawed slavery years ahead of the United States, Detroit became a common destination for many blacks fleeing the south via the Underground Railroad. Once here, people could see freedom just across the water.
This statue on the Detroit River – sculpted by a man named Ed Dwight – is called "The Gateway to Freedom". It depicts a group of black people standing at the water's edge; some are pointing toward Windsor, others (like the young boy on the right side of the photo with his back to the water) are calling out excitedly.
It's a very cool sculpture, and while I could have shown more detail taking this picture from the front, I kind of liked it better from behind, with Windsor in the background. Unfortunately, the bright sunshine the other day washed out the picture. See it in crisp detail for yourself on the Detroit River near Hart Plaza.