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Monday, February 01, 2021

Black History Month: Honoring the Legacy of Harriet Tubman

In celebration of Black History Month we pay special tribute to antislavery crusader and Civil War veteran Harriet Tubman.

Tubman was a singular figure of the abolition movement, an enslaved woman who escaped captivity in Maryland and made at least 19 trips back to free more slaves.

She is estimated to have helped several hundred enslaved people find freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad and is said to have "never lost a passenger."

During the Civil War, she freed 700 more when she led Union forces on a raid on Combahee Ferry in South Carolina.

In her later life, though she had little money of her own, Tubman worked to house and feed the poor and became an important figure in the fight for women's suffrage.

Harriet Tubman became the first African American woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp issued on February 1, 1978, the first in the Post Office's Black Heritage Series.

In January 2021 President Biden's administration announced they were taking steps to move forward with the $20 dollar bill redesign, following years of calls from activists to have Tubman's face replace that of President Andrew Jackson.

Harriet Tubman was a true American patriot, for whom liberty and freedom were not just concepts. She lived those principles and shared that freedom with hundreds of others.

Her legacy is an essential part of the story of America’s evolution from a slave-holding nation into one that recognizes the human rights of African Americans.