Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Harriet Tubman

Today's AWOD is Harriet Tubman, an American icon and one of the most famous civilians in American history before the Civil War. She inspired generations of African Americans struggling for equality and civil rights as an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War.

A runaway slave from Maryland. she became known as the "Moses of her people." Over the course of 10 years, and at great personal risk, she led hundreds of slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad, a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. It's estimated she brought 200-300 slaves to freedom. Her dangerous journeys required her to travel by night, during which she guided herself by the North Star, avoiding the careful eyes of "slavecatchers", eager to collect rewards for fugitive slaves.

Tubman later went on to promote the cause of women's suffrage and traveled extensively to speak out in favor of women's voting rights.