Born Araminta Ross circa March 12th, 1822 in Dorchester County along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Harriet Tubman is one of the most prolific and recognizable voices within Black History. A steward of justice in her own right, Tubman was an abolitionist who free not only herself but many others on the Underground Railroad. Specifically, it is believed that she helped approximately 300 enslaved Black Americans escape plantations in the dead of night and make their way to the Northern states where they would be free. It was this act which earned her the nickname of “Moses.”
Believe it or not, this year marks the 200th anniversary of her birth. As our community is frequently told that slavery was so long and go and being pushed to “let it go,” Harriet Tubman’s life is a sobering reminder of how long ago this period really was. In the two centuries since her birth, the world, specifically America as a nation, has experienced and undergone significant change. However, this bicentennial anniversary signals how much more there is to be done in our world today.
Harriet Tubman’s legacy has been an example for many to aspire to be like for generations. Living a life committed to liberation at all costs, she served as a a scout, spy, and nurse in the Civil War. Additionally, she was also an active participant in the Women’s Suffrage movement. The causes that Tubman was an active proponent of are not far off from what we continue to fight for today. In remembering her tenacious spirit, we must continue to do the work that she set out to do.
Across the United States, numerous organizations are planning to honor her life in unique ways. EBONY previously reported that a nine foot tall bronze statue of Tubman was unveiled in Philadelphia to commemorate her birthday. Additionally, GirlTrek, an organization founded to promote the radical self care of Black women through walking and movement is hosting a Superhero Saturday Walk for Harriet Tubman in New York. On March 12th, 2022, participants will start from the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center (EHRC) in Auburn, journey to the Harriet Tubman Home and returning back to the EHRC. Following the walk, they will join the City of Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Historical park organization for a celebration event which can be live-streamed. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, based in Maryland, is also hosting a series of events and tours that focus on using storytelling and movement to connect with our roots.
No matter how you choose to uplift Harriet Tubman’s life and name on this momentous occasion, be sure to reflect on how you practice liberation in your own life and go the extra mile to support the causes that mean the most to you in whatever ways we can.