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Sweet Harriet
11/6/2013 12:59:08 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali    

It’s said that if something is good for you then it should be good to you. That makes sense to me.

Whenever I think of that analogy, I think in terms of the progress of “our” people’s struggles and accomplishments against all odds. Lord knows the African-Americans, as a people, have struggled against seemingly insurmountable bigoted prejudices and racial hostilities that couldn’t be mentioned in brief everyday flippant discourses.

There’s nothing sweet about systematic and institutional racism. Never was; never could be, because racism is bitter to the core of any oppressed “colored” folks’ soul.

I’m a self-absorbed continual student of the heroic and sheroic figures in “our” epic struggles for dignity and self-respect against systematic injustices done towards all “hue-mans” of color. I simply love to research and learn about Black “Our-Story.”

“Our” struggles have been and still are many, but we are blessed to know that some of “our” past is documented with great fighters for “our” liberation and freedom from oppression and ignorance. We must never forget that, and that’s why it’s so important to always study Black “Our-Story,” no matter the era.

One of the most sheroic figures in “our” story is the noble lady Harriet Tubman. She truly was a been a legacy in her own time, and she has been so until this very day to the knowledgeable among consciously aware “colored” folk.

Sister Harriet Tubman was born Araminta Harriet Ross in 1820 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she grew up in slavery. It is reported that after a beating at the age of twelve, which caused a permanent seizure, Sister Harriet decided in her mind that she wanted to escape bondage of slavery.

When she got older and became a young woman she escaped with the helped of a White neighbor who gave her names of people who would help her in during her daring escape northward. This was the beginning of Sister Harriet’s ascendency into Black “our-storical” legacy and fame.

After successfully making her way to freedom and safety in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, she often went back to America for family and other slaves. “His-story” relates that she did this twenty times to rescue and bring more and more enslaved souls to freedom.

Sister Harriet’s Underground Railroad, as her journeys and exploits became known as, took place and was punctuated by night travel along America’s racist back roads and waterways. This sheroic figure of strength and courage was no joke in handling the tasks before her.

She was known to pack a gun and would pull a weapon on anyone of the enslaved who threatened to back out. She even organized a network a network of union army scouts and spies in the Civil War and led the Combahee (New York) River Expedition in a raid that freed more than 750 enslaved souls.

She settled in Auburn, New York, in 1857 and spent the last fifty-six years of her life there. “His-storians” say that William Seward, who was President Lincoln’s Secretary of State and an admirer of Harriet Tubman, also helped housed fugitive slaves.

He even sold her the property that now houses the Tubman House in Auburn, New York, for a minimal price. Sister Harriet was respectfully labeled the “Moses” of her people due to vigilant efforts to help the enslave reach freedom.

Sister Harriet Tubman, the sheroic conductor of the Underground Railroad, is a poignant example of what real leaders are supposed to be about. She was honest, courageous and adventuresome, besides being an example of forthrightness for all time.

Maybe, that’s why I relate to her as being sweet in the “hue-man” businesslike sense because she was so good to and for so many, many oppressed souls.

You don’t see many “colored” folk like that today, especially those who would sacrifice so much for the benefit of others. Think about that for a stone-cold moment, as you, hopefully, view the state of all of Black America’s ills today.

Harriet Tubman cared about her people as was demonstrated by her noble and enduring efforts to free the oppressed at great odds to herself. This lady, and that she was, was a pioneer to me in my early education as a child about Black History.

I was always enamored by the great and historical lady of courage, Harriet Tubman. My mother, who was a respected schoolteacher, would tell me that “his-story,” told by “our” oppressors may never tell the real story of how truly great Harriet Tubman was.

In many ways, I wonder how many of today’s young “colored” folk know of this petite iconic and dynamic heroine. In my view, I think she’s been overlooked by many, even though she’s generally admired and casually recognized during the month of February’s annual observance of Black History Month.

This year, 2013, marks the 100th year anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s death in March 10, 1913, in Auburn, New York. I adore her and politely offered, she was something else and there have been few like her in my unbiased opinion.

I love this lady. She epitomized what struggling against the odds is all about and in my many tests, trials and ordeals that come upon me, I think of this lady’s resolve to never give up—but to always strive to help others less fortunate.

My understanding of this value system is enhanced by the respectful appreciation and approbation I have for “Sweet Harriet.” She was a monumental Black soldier of courage and she forever leaves a sweet taste in my mind, heart and thoughts.

If you’re of color and you don’t know anything about this grand ebony queen, then I suggest that you read some books about her. Remember that “Knowledge is Power,” and it is that, but “only” if you acquire and use it.

“Sweet Harriet’s” life symbolized that ignorance about anything that affects your life and culture is a bitter pill to swallow. Acquiring knowledge of same is the opposite, because it’s “sweet” to the mind and heart of a true thinker and universal student of comprehension.

I think that you should learn about “Sweet Harriet” and inform others of her cause for liberation. Please also remember that “each one (should), teach one.” Wishing you the best in conquering your struggles of today as Harriet Tubman obviously conquered hers of her time.

Be strong and May the Creator Alone bless you always with strength and courage. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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