Women’s History Month: A Woman I Admire (part 2)

Women’s History Month: A Woman I Admire (part 2)

Happy Friday readers! I hope you are all doing well amidst the global pandemic we are experiencing at the moment. I am working on a post about that as well as how we are managing over here, but first I really wanted to complete my Women’s History Month series.

I almost didn’t finish this series because honestly, I haven’t been feeling up to writing (outside of journaling) during all this craziness but at the same time, I feel like this post needs its place here on my blog as well. I don’t want Women’s History Month to just be forgotten.

Originally I had *hoped* to make a compilation of a few well-known women who I admire for this part of the series but I wound up feeling overwhelmed because of everything else going on in life right now. Instead, I decided to focus on just one admirable woman who I think more of us should know about, and that is…

Harriet Tubman
(1822 – 1913)

70A8AE31-C040-9D69-7CB06EDF2006F8E1

I don’t remember learning much about Harriet Tubman when I was in school. Our history classes discussed her briefly, along with American slavery as a whole but it wasn’t until I was an adult and on one of my many Wikipedia-rabbit-hole-binges that I discovered how interesting and admirable of a person she really was.

Harriet is well known for escaping slavery and helping others to escape through what became known as the Underground Railroad. She was brave and selfless beyond measure.

Here are some interesting facts about Harriet that you may not have learned in school:

  • 70A8AE31-C040-9D69-7CB06EDF2006F8E1As a child, she had a heavy metal weight thrown at her head by a slavemaster. This incident caused her to have a traumatic brain injury (TBI); which resulted in her experiencing bouts of dizziness, the development of a life long sleep disorder, as well as experiencing what she described to be “visions” and dreams that she interpreted as messages from God.
    However, despite the struggles that came along with her brain injury, she became a fearless leader and beacon of hope for the people she helped to escape slavery.
  • She was selfless. She risked death to escape slavery. She could have escaped, stayed up north and continued her life there. But Harriet didn’t do that. Instead, she risked her safety once again to return down south to see who else she could help emancipate. In a 10 year span, she made ~18 trips and guided an estimated 300 slaves to their freedom. In addition to this, I think it is interesting to note that although many of us think of her as an elderly woman, she was actually only 27 years old when she escaped slavery. She returned to help others not long after that.
  • She was a veteran. Harriet served in the Civil War as a nurse, spy, and soldier. She was heavily involved in many raids of Southern plantations during the war and helped to emancipate an additional 700 slaves during this time. Sadly, despite her incredible service to her country, she had to fight tooth and nail to receive her deserved Veteran’s benefits later in life. It took her 34 years to get her Veteran’s pension.
  • screen-shot-2016-04-20-at-1-17-29-pmShe underwent brain surgery without anesthesia. Yes, you read that correctly. This woman was hard as nails. In her elder years, she was experiencing an increasing amount of insomnia and head pain most likely related to her TBI and sought treatment at Mass General Hospital. Rather than undergoing anesthesia for the surgery she underwent, she chose to “bite a bullet” like soldiers often did in the war while undergoing amputations.
  • She will [eventually] be the new face of the American $20 bill! When exactly this will take place is unclear but I’ve seen the year 2028 and 2030 as being possibilities online. Harriet was selected to be the very first woman to appear on American paper currency – an honor she more than deserves! I hope that when this happens it encourages more people to become aware of her fascinating story of strength and selflessness.

“I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land; and my home after all, was down in Maryland; because my father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters, and friends were there. But I was free, and they should be free.

Harriet Tubman

by H Seymour Squyer

Harriet’s story is one of liberation, bravery, and pure selflessness.

Not only did she have the bravery to escape slavery, literally risking her life to do so – but she also possessed such incredible selflessness. She put her own life at risk, time and time again to give others a chance at freedom (Not to mention doing all of this while quietly suffering the lifelong effects of a TBI).

Her strength both inside and out, was out of this world.

I have so much respect and admiration for her and I think she is a woman whose story we should all know.

Women are inherently strong.

Female stories matter.

Talk to the women in your life, learn their stories. You might be surprised at what you learn

That concludes my 2020 Women’s History Month series. I hope that you enjoyed this series and if you haven’t already, you can check out part 1 of the series, which is about the woman in my life who has had the greatest impact on me.

Sending you love & light, 

sig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: