Honor Harriet Tubman By Making a Better World (aka bye-bye modern slavery)

Laura Nicole Diamond

As we turn our national attention to Harriet Tubman today, following Secretary of Treasury Lew’s announcement yesterday that her image will replace Andrew Jackson’s on the $20 bill, it brought many questions to mind, about Harriet Tubman herself, and what meaning she has for us today.

What riotous imagination did it take to envision a life and world impossibly different from her present circumstances? To imagine freedom, having lived only slavery?

What deep well of bravery must she have plumbed to choose to fight for that life, knowing that failure meant torture, then death? And what deep wells of compassion, conviction, and still more bravery must she have had to turn around and help others do the same?

Or perhaps bravery is not required when the fight you undertake feels more like a compulsion than a choice?

And, for us…What kind of imagination will it take to envision the world we want — without war, without refugees, without hunger, without catastrophic pollution?…

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One response to “Honor Harriet Tubman By Making a Better World (aka bye-bye modern slavery)

  1. Have read up on Harriet Tubman thanks to your post, Laura. It’s more than bravery really. It’s the ability to originate rather than follow a cause. Anyone can do the latter. She was really something special, Harriet Tubman. I am unclear, though, about what you mean by modern slavery.
    To envision the kind of world we want, we surely need to begin by eliminating war – it would follow then that there would be no refugees. As for pollution, we are overpopulated and growing. We use up our finite resources. We travel when we can communicate without getting on a plane. Let’s acknowledge it (and more) then go from there. Good luck to us all.

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