African Diaspora Decoloniality Staff Writer  

Who is Harriet Tubman?

Harriet Tubman was a leader in the “underground railroad”

She was born into slavery in Maryland of the United States. From a very young age, 5, Tubman was hired out to work as a child.

He responsibilities in bondage included being a cook, a nursemaid. Outdoors she worked as a field servant and a woodcutter.

From early in her life Tubman developed a reputation among slaveowners as being rebellious. She was once hit in the head with an iron for refusing to punish another enslaved African.

Tubman runs away from slavery

Tubman could not accept conditions as a slave. Her life changed dramatically in 1849 when she discovered that her owner intended to sell her.

She immediately decided to escape. Her husband, who was a free man, refused to join her. She left him and her family as she sought freedom further North in the country.

In effect, Tubman had joined the Underground Railroad. This was a network of routes and “safe houses” that enslaved African Americans would travel through as they escaped their owners.

Underground Railroad

Escape from slavery

Tubman becomes a leader in the Underground Railroad

Tubman successfully reached Philadelphia further North in the USA. Once she was free, she returned to Maryland and helped her sister and her children escape from slavery.

Harriet Tubman went on to free more than 300 Africans. This is her legend. She stated:

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.

Harriet Tubman

For more information on Harriet Tubman, read here.