Celebrating Black Moses!
It’s been 109 years since Harriet Tubman joined the ancestors on March 10, 1913, in her home in Auburn, New York. Since 1990, we have celebrated Harriet Tubman Day across the United States to acknowledge her bravery amongst the horrors of slavery and the Civil War. Tubman was born into slavery in Bucktown, Maryland, around 1820, then escaped to freedom in 1849. She became the conductor of the Underground Railroad making more than nineteen trips back down south to lead others to freedom.
During the Civil War, she was sent by Governor Andrew of Massachusetts to South Carolina to work as a Black Union soldier nurse. She then became a spy after being recruited by Union Major General David Hunter, slipping between enemy lines to gather intelligence. She was recently inducted into the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame for her fearlessness.
On June 1, 1863, Tubman led Union troops from the Sea Islands up Combahee River to raid Confederate outposts, rice plantations, destroy bridges, and cut off supply lines. Tubman led the expedition while Union gunboats gingerly navigated the waters, avoiding torpedoes with Tubman’s information. The raid allowed hundreds of enslaved Black people to flee the rice plantations, with nearly 100 Black men joining the Union and destroying Confederate control along the river and millions of dollars of Confederate property. Tubman made history as the “first woman to successfully plan and lead a military expedition during the Civil War.”
As we celebrate her today, and here are some of her quotes to continue to inspire you every day.
“When I found I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything; the sun came like gold through trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in Heaven.”
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track, and I never lost a passenger.”
“I said to the Lord, I’m going to hold steady on to you, and I know you will see me through””..and I prayed to God to make me strong and able to fight, and that’s what I’ve always prayed for ever since.”
“God’s time is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.”
“There are two things I’ve got a right to, and these are, Death or Liberty – one or the other I mean to have. No one will take me back alive; I shall fight for my liberty, and when the time has come for me to go, the Lord will let them kill me.”
“I had crossed the line. I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land, and my home, after all, was down in Maryland; because my father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were there. But I was free, and they should be free.”
“I have heard their groans and sighs and seen their tears, and I would give every drop of blood in my veins to free them.”
The internet has been expressing their admiration for Tubman today for all she’s done.
Happy Harriet Tubman day: Celebrating a Disabled Black Icon and freedom fighter.
— Imani Barbarin, MAGC | Crutches&Spice ♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) March 10, 2021
Harriet Tubman spent the end of her life creating + maintaining free and accessible health care institution for poor, disabled, elderly Black people. She spent 10 years in the Underground Railroad going back to the south to get her loved ones. This is only a snapshot of her life
— Chi (@theAfroLegalise) March 10, 2021
Today is Harriet Tubman Day, it’s the anniversary of her transition into Ancestorhood. She is one of the most formidable, collectively elevated Ancestors known to our tradition. A visionary.
— (@Hess2Love) March 10, 2021
— Letters of Note (@LettersOfNote) March 10, 2021
“I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted.”- Harriet Tubman #HarrietTubmanDay pic.twitter.com/3DbZFegu4yadvertisement
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) March 10, 2021
We hope Harriet Tubman continues to get her just due!
Photo Credit: Library of Congress