Saturday, February 07, 2009

Black History Month Daily Thread

Today, we will honor two freedom fighters: Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1820 – 10 March 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from captivity, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage.

Born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various owners as a child. Early in her life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight at her, intending to hit another slave. The injury caused disabling seizures, headaches, and powerful visionary and dream activity, and spells of hypersomnia which occurred throughout her entire life. A devout Christian, she ascribed her visions and vivid dreams to premonitions from God.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other slaves to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or "Moses", as she was called) "never lost a passenger". Heavy rewards were offered for many of the people she helped bring away, but no one ever knew it was Harriet Tubman who was helping them. When a far-reaching United States Fugitive Slave Law was passed in 1850, she helped guide fugitives further north into Canada, and helped newly-freed slaves find work.

When the American Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid on the Combahee River, which liberated more than seven hundred slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women's suffrage movement until illness overtook her and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African-Americans she had helped open years earlier.


Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton (Author)

Who Was Harriet Tubman? (Who Was...?) by Yona Zeldis McDonough (Author), Nancy Harrison (Illustrator)

Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book) by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

A Woman Called Moses (1978) -DVD
Starring: Cicely Tyson, Orson Welles

Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero by Kate Clifford Larson

Harriet Tubman-DVD
Starring: Hero Classics

Heroes of Freedom: Stories of Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks - DVD


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

I can't die but once.

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
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.

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.

I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees, 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.

Quakers almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.

You'll be free or die!


Sojourner Truth


Sojourner Truth (1797–November 26, 1883) was the self-given name, from 1843, of Isabella Baumfree, an American slave, abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York. Her best-known speech, Ain't I a Woman?, was delivered in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the Negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen them most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.


The Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth (Author)

Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter (Author)

Sojourner Truth: Ain't I A Woman (Scholastic Biography) by Patricia C. Mckissack (Author)

Sojourner Truth (On My Own Biography) by Gwenyth Swain (Author), Matthew Archambault (Illustrator)

Sojourner Truth: Preacher for Freedom and Equality by Slade (Author), Suzanne (Author), Blanks (Illustrator), Natascha Alex (Illustrator)

Life of Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? -DVD


I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star.
If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.

Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff

Truth is powerful and it prevails.

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