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Harriet Tubman | From slavery to leading an army

Harriet Tubman, born as Araminta Ross, is known for being the most famous fighter for slave freedom during the period leading up to the American Civil War; moreover, she played a significant role during the conflict and dedicated her entire life to advocating for civil rights.

You can read the article in Spanish here.

The slavery

Araminta was born into slavery; as a child, she was beaten and mistreated by her “owners.” As a teenager, she suffered a severe blow to the head that caused her to experience seizures where she would lose consciousness and began to have visions. Her strong religious conviction led her to believe that her dreams and premonitions were divine will.

In 1849, she decided to escape from the plantation where she lived, leaving behind her family and husband; she left Maryland and settled in Philadelphia, where she took the name “Harriet.” After a period in the city, she chose to return to Maryland with the firm intention of liberating her family.

Despite the reluctance of her friends, Harriet embarked on the rescue journey; after her success, she became part of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a clandestine network organized to free slaves from the southern states and help them reach free states or Canada.

Harriet managed to liberate around 70 slaves, never losing a single one. Nicknamed “Moses,” a bounty was placed on her head; however, they never realized that a woman was aiding the slaves.

Leader of an army

During the American Civil War, Harriet became a spy for the Union Army; she led 150 black soldiers in the Combahee River Raid, freeing 750 slaves. She remains one of the few women in US history to lead an armed expedition.

The Combahee River Raid was a military operation during the American Civil War conducted on June 1 and 2, 1863, by elements of the Union Army along the Combahee River in Beaufort and Colleton counties in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Source: Wikipedia.

She remarried and dedicated her life to assisting freed slaves, the elderly, and women’s suffrage. She died surrounded by loved ones at the age of 91. It is said that her last words were… “I’m going to prepare a place for you.”

The movie

Cynthia Erivo, a British actress, singer, and songwriter, portrays Harriet Tubman in the biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons. The movie narrates the life of this incredible woman in great detail. Regarding the plot, while it is quite faithful to the protagonist’s life, there are certain jumps and moments where, in my opinion, the feelings and emotions of the people surrounding the story are not deeply explored; it becomes very difficult to empathize and connect, despite the significant emotional weight of the situations and Harriet’s immense courage and skill. In my opinion, the performance lacks strength, and the plot tiptoes around the biography of a woman who made a pivotal impact in the fight for freedom.


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Annabel

Técnica en Marketing Internacional. Graduada en Trabajo Social. Orientadora laboral y profesora de español titulada. Autora de ficción. Blogueando desde 2011. Última novela: LA JOYA DE ILLINOIS.

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