Colorlines‘ Jamilah King was spurred to round up actual facts about the abolitionist in response to the “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape.” Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital YouTube channel has now removed the video, on which comedians joked about how Tubman used sex to blackmail “her master into letting her run the Underground Railroad.”
1. Harriet Tubman’s birth name was Aramita (“Minty”) Ross. She was born enslaved in Maryland sometime in 1820.
2. Tubman escaped slavery with her brother, Ben and Harry, on September 17, 1849.
3. Tubman is most famous for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, in which she led escaped slaves to freedom. Estimates vary, but Tubman is said to have helped anywhere from dozens to hundreds of slaves reach freedom. She was once quoted as saying, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
Read Jamilah King’s entire piece at Colorlines.
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