The name Harriet Tubman usually only comes up during Black History Month. Children to reports on her and one of the educational programing channels might run a 1-hour biography on her and then she’s pretty much forgotten about for the next eleven months. I think that is very unfortunate because her story is fascinating. I, therefore, waited until March to write about her.
Ms. Tubman is well-known as a ‘conductor” on the Underground Railroad, but she was a spy for the union army for a time and also a suffragist in her later years among other things. As a girl she sustained a head injury at the hands of an overseer. As a result, she suffered from seizures in which she seemed to fall asleep and vivid dreams for the remainder of her life. As a devote Christian, she viewed these as visions from god. In addition to this disability, Harriet Tubman was illiterate. Can you imagine finding your way to a specific location in a hostile environment without being able to understand any road signs or written markers of any kind? She did it over and over again, bringing dozens of people to a life of freedom. The courage remained with her throughout her life. When she passed away at an approximate age of 93, her last words were said to have been, “I go now to prepare a place for you.” I realized that I have barely scratched the surface with this post, but it’s more recognition than is usually accorded Harriet Tubman in March.