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Harriet Tubman: A Legacy of Courage, Freedom, and Caring for others' Lives

We are celebrating Inspiring Black American Heroes Every Week in February. This week, we learn about the contributions of Harriet Tubman, an American abolitionist, humanitarian, social activist, and suffragist.

Special thanks to Choir Member and long-time Unity Member, Jeannine W. Baldwin, for providing this inspiring write-up.

Humble Beginnings

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta “Minty” Ross) was born in March 1822 into slavery in Maryland. Tubman was beaten and whipped by enslavers as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight, intending to hit another slave. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing vivid visions and dreams which she often claimed were “premonitions from God” that influenced her actions throughout her life.

Escaping Slavery and Starting the Underground Railroad

After escaping slavery, Tubman made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known collectively as the Underground Railroad.

 “I never lost a passenger. I was free and they should be free.” - Harriet Tubman

Serving as a Nurse, an Armed Scout, and Spy for the Union Army

When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army first as a cook and nurse and later as an armed scout and spy. She is credited as the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war.

A force to be Reckoned With

Though just over five feet tall, she was a force to be reckoned with, although it took over three decades for the government to recognize her military contributions and award her financially.

Continues to Serve and Care for others until her Final Days

In her later years, Tubman worked to promote the cause of women’s suffrage alongside women such as Susan B. Anthony. Diagnosed with Pneumonia, Harriet Tubman made her transition on March 10, 1913, but her legacy of courage, freedom, and caring for others lives on in perpetuity.


Join us at Unity every Sunday in February at 10am for special songs, performances, and celebrations to honor Black History Month.


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