The Road to Freedom

Diversity Book Review
Title: Biography of Harriet Tubman – The Road to Freedom
Author: Catherine Clinton

Harriet Tubman was born a slave and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the 1820’s. As a young girl, she incurred a severe head injury when she stepped between a lead weight thrown by an irate master and the slave it was meant for. She recovered but suffered from visions and debilitating episodes for the rest of her life. Her biggest fear was that members of her family will be sold and that the family will be permanently separated.

After discovering her owner was going to sell her, she ran away with the help of the Underground Railroad. She realized that this was a way out of slavery so she travelled many times to help family members and other slaves escape and became an influential voice in the anti-slavery movement. She was very religious and believed that her freedom was a message from God to help others, and that is how she became known as the conductor on the Underground Railroad. Some people even thought of her as having a special power from the Lord and referred to her as Moses to lead them.

Soon she became one of the most infamous enemies of the slaveholders. She established herself as one of the first black women to make about a dozen trips in raids that were successful and because of this, a steep price was offered as a bounty on her head. When the civil war broke out, she became the only woman to officially lead men into battle, acting as a scout and a spy while serving with the Union Army in South Carolina.

The book is filled with stories of her experiences while working in the Underground Railroad and also details of her life before and after slavery. The author shares her challenges with her own personal life and going through heartache and betrayal by her loved ones. Her life is so inspirational and teaches us how to be strong and stand up for what is right despite adversities and horrible barriers. The author definitely demonstrates Harriet as one of the most important and enduring figures in American History.