Harriet

Sharon Keyser

Posted on November 06 2019

Harriet

 

This weekend I went to see the movie, Harriet, the biographical story about Harriet Tubman who escaped from slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then set out to free as many enslaved Blacks as she possibly could.  Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably already familiar with history and the story about this giant of a woman and her courage and success as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.  

The movie, screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons, starred British actress Cynthia Erivo.  I'd only seen her once before, in the movie Widows which, to me, was forgettable, but after her performance as Harriet, I look forward to seeing her again.  She owned the role.  I felt as if I was watching Harriet Tubman herself.  A powerhouse indeed, she embodied Ms. Tubman's spirit, and spirit is obviously what led Ms. Tubman on her quest.  One thing of which I hadn't been familiar was her frequent "spells", presumably resulting from a head injury she suffered at the hands of a white man when she was a young girl.  These spells allowed her to hear God speaking to her, and she listened.  While she experienced a horrific action that led to this state, I believe it was God's way of blessing her with the gift she would need in order to carry out such an enormous task and do so with immense fortitude.  It would take something extraordinary, and perhaps supernatural, to see so many through on their dangerous journeys and not lose one along the way.  I believe it was her destiny.

Fittlingly, during the Obama Administration, a project began to have an image of Harriet Tubman replace that of Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill.  The timing of the completion of this project has been delayed during the Trump Administration, but I'm hopeful that we will see it come to fruition in the not too distant future.  Thank you, Ms. Tubman.

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