Tribute to Harriet Tubman, Iconic Figure of the Underground Railroad

Content of the article

Decades ago, a wonderful restaurant in downtown Toronto served up valuable history lessons along with an amazing menu rich in classic soul food. People came from all over to eat at the famous Underground Railroad restaurant, where even the interior of barn beams, lanterns and rough wood paid homage to North America’s history of slavery.

Advertising

Content of the article

Every day, patrons were seated next to famous writers, artists, and musical and theater performers, and there was always a wonderful undercurrent of excitement permeating every corner of the iconic restaurant.

The restaurant may be gone, but its story — and the story of the Underground Railroad, which saw enslaved African Americans gain their freedom through a carefully curated but harrowing mode of North American transportation — lives on. .

(Toronto Sun Archive)
(Toronto Sun Archive) Archival photo /Toronto SUN

The message of the Underground Railroad is just as powerful and just as essential today as it was hundreds of years ago. At its core, this journey to freedom was about bravery, resistance to slavery, and the journeys of “freedom seekers” — and those who helped them.

Advertising

Content of the article

One woman in particular stands out for her breathtaking tenacity and bravery in winning freedom and saving so many lives at the height of the underground movement. Harriet Tubman, born 200 years ago, was known as the “Moses of her people” who escaped slavery and then led enslaved men, women and children to their freedom in Canada.

Tubman, who was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, in March 1822, was a nurse, Union spy, abolitionist and feminist of her day. She was also an escaped slave who became a “driver” on the Underground Railroad, leading slaves to freedom before the Civil War – while carrying a bounty on her head.

She was fearless and courageous, and it was said many times that she would choose death rather than lose her freedom.

Advertising

Content of the article

“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors cannot say – I have never had my train derailed and I have never lost a passenger” , said Tubman in 1896, quoted in the archives of the United States Library of Congress.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” she said.

Tubman embodies the spirit of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, remembering her determination and courageous spirit when her life was in danger every day of the movement.

Research shows that between 30,000 and 40,000 people seeking freedom entered Canada during the last decades of slavery in the United States, and that thousands settled in various parts of what is today Ontario. Harriet Tubman played a role in many of those who found freedom in Canada.

Advertising

Content of the article

This powerful mother and grandmother – whose descendants are alive to this day – will be honored on March 10 as Harriet Tubman Day, an American holiday that was enacted in 1990. Those interested in following the steps of this icon can do it. with a visit to Maryland, hailed as “the most powerful Underground Railroad storytelling destination in the world.”

In the years leading up to emancipation, a hotbed of support for the Underground Railroad grew in Maryland, where various sites offer clear and accurate histories of the freedom fighters, who literally changed the course of history. history with their bravery, their courage and their sacrifices.

“This year marks 200 years in the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman, one of Maryland’s most prolific historical figures and icons,” said Maya Davis, Commissioner of the Maryland Commission of African-American Culture. , who is also a former research archivist for the study of the legacy of slavery in Maryland, where a plethora of special events and activities take place to honor this powerful woman.

Advertising

Content of the article

“It has been an honor for me to work with citizens and cultural organizations across the state to preserve, document and give voice to this brave woman, who survived one of the most traumatic periods in the history of our country…its family, religious and freedom heritage extends beyond the borders of our state to touch the hearts and lives of individuals nationally and internationally,” she added in a recent e -mail.

Want to learn more or visit points of interest celebrating Tubman? “The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center is a wonderful place to experience Tubman’s history and legacy,” said Harriet bestselling author, historian and scholar Dr. Kate Larson. Tubman, in a recent email.

Advertising

Content of the article

“The park is something of a starting point for the Harriet Tubman Byway, which takes visitors through sites and vast landscapes associated with (her) birth, childhood and early adulthood as a slave and as a as a determined liberator. Many landscapes have changed little since Tubman’s time.

Larson said to be sure to drop by the small, locally run Harriet Tubman Museum and see the magnificent Tubman mural “which has drawn visitors from all over the world.”

Harriet Tubman.  (U.S. Library of Congress)
Harriet Tubman. (U.S. Library of Congress) Photo provided /Library of Congress

Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913 at the ripe old age of 93, and she died in the very home she had created many years earlier to help others. Truly an inspirational woman, to be remembered and celebrated on International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.

Advertising

Content of the article

We apologize, but this video failed to load.

For those who want to follow the story of Harriet Tubman:

– The Harriet Tubman Underground Railway Visitor Center and National Park: Commemorates the life and legacy of this legendary Underground Railroad conductor. Immersive exhibits depict Harriet Tubman’s childhood as a slave, her courageous flight to freedom and her daring rescue missions.

– Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Route: The self-guided car tour takes visitors to various sites to learn more about his life and legacy, including tributes and some locations of his daring and dangerous activities.

– The Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center: The building features a powerful and moving mural by Tubman.

For details, see visitmaryland.org/listing/attraction/harriet-tubman-museum-and-educational-center

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Comments are closed.