Harriet Tubman Myths

A movie to be released Thursday, October 31st, will challenge many of the myths that surround Harriet Tubman. In the version of American history that is taught in our schools and featured in children’s literature, Tubman has always been one of the few African-Americans associated with the Underground Railroad.   “Few figures in American history have been as shrouded in myth and misperception as Harriet Tubman,” wrote Robert Ito in the New York Times movie review.

“In the film, we see Tubman leading hundreds of black troops, leveling a rifle at her confederate enemies as plantations burn in the background.”   Historian and writer Kate Clifford Larson was an adviser to the film.  She claims that while the film is not totally accurate in order to make the story coherent,  “I want to present as much of it as accurately as possible.  The story is so incredible that it sounds as if it’s not accurate, but it is.”

Hopefully, this is the first of many films which will help us have a more complete view of the years leading up to the Civil War through Reconstruction which highlights the role of African-Americans as leaders in their own liberation from slavery.   I’m will go see it to decide for myself how accurate I think the film depicts this period and I hope you will too.  Tell us what you think.

Official Trailer

Diana Porter, October 27,  2019

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