I was listening to a story about a museum somewhere and the story had something to do with Black History Month I think. I really started to listen to the part of the story that mentioned Harriet Tubman and that part of the story is what stuck in my throat. Harriet Tubman is a figure whom I have forever adored from history. She was one brave woman. She was strong and tough and seemingly unafraid to save people from the tragic circumstances that history forced them into.
Google magic tells me the museum which I just learned, nor am I surprised to find out, is none other than the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. They obtained what they believe to be her hymnal book. It is signed by her. The part the made me cry unexpectedly on the drive to work, sweeping fat tears from the corners of my eyes, was that Ms. Tubman was illiterate. She practiced writing her name in that hymnal. She was this amazing soul who carried so many to freedom and yet she could not read. The fact that the book contains the songs used to help bring those souls to freedom is amazing but for some reason her written name in this book just hit me.
Maybe I did not remember that she was illiterate so I felt a little shock to re-learn that fact. The bigger part of the story for me at that moment is that I was reminded that this great strong woman from history who helped so many and who we study in books and learn about prominately in history was not able to read.
Ms. Tubman was truly amazing, such a hero to be remembered by all. I think that if we all could have just one half of one percent of her strength, toughness, and ability to sway history what an amazing country we would be. I was glad to be reminded of her this morning, of this (for me) forgotten hero who did not intend to be a hero. She simply wanted to help people in harm's way and she did it with such grace and loyality. I would gladly visit both the Smithsonian to see her artifacts and the possibility of having a Harriet Tubman National Park is thrilling!
Today, I am glad for history, for amazing women in history, and for living today. I am reminded to lead, follow, or get out of the way. To be stronger, tougher and seemingly unafraid to do what needs to be done.
She reportedly told those in the room when she passed away around the age of 91: "I go to prepare a place for you." Indeed she prepared a place for herself and those freed slaves a place both in history and our hearts. She lives on in so many ways...
If you have a chance to catch any of the four parts of this series, do so. I have not watched all of it but bits and pieces and it is amazing!