March 10, 1913 at 4:30 pm Harriet Tubman passed away; I learned this while listening to Michel Martin's Tell Me More on NPR. Wednesday's program was on Harriet Tubman(here's a link to the entire transcript). Jacquelne Sewer from the Smithsonian and Vanessa Garrison from GirlTrek were her guests.
Many may remember learning about Harriet Tubman, her work with The Underground Railroad, and the Raid on Harper's Ferry in History Class. I didn't know that she was a small woman with physical disabilities, whose given name was Araminta Ross, and at the age of 56 married a man 22 years her junior. It absolutely amazes me that in 1850 there was a $40,000 bounty on her head; using Dave Manual's inflation calculator that would be equivalent to $1,176,470.59 today!! As far as I could find NO ONE today has bounty like that on their head in America.
As the segment continued I became quite intrigued when I heard about Girl Trek's Moving Tribute to Harriet. As Vanessa Garrison explained:
GirlTrek believes that the obesity crisis that is currently impacting African-American women is going to require the same type of courage that Harriet Tubman displayed and we believe that, as women, we are going to have to also liberate, one, ourselves and then come back and be examples and liberate our family. And one of the things we say is that, if Harriet Tubman could walk herself to freedom, we can certainly walk ourselves to better health.
That last line "If Harriet could walk herself to freedom" hit me dead center. Her freedom, her life, her health and that of her community's was so important to her. What did she do? She did something that every single one of us can do ~ WALK.
The idea that I can walk myself to freedom truly resonates. Without sounding too dramatic~ I can walk myself out of the chains of obesity. I can walk myself into the freedom that comes with being healthier.
I hope you will walk for your own freedom this Sunday.