She was and continues to be our Moses. Harriet Tubman, the ultimate freedom fighter and warrior woman—before we even heard of a Dora Milaje—was liberating enslaved black folks through the Underground Railroad for years in a holy act of selflessness and courage.
In honor of Tubman, GirlTrek, the largest national public health nonprofit and movement for black women and girls, will follow in her footsteps—literally. For #HarrietsGreatEscape, the entire GirlTrek national team will walk 100 miles, starting off March 6 from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where Tubman made her first escape, and crossing the Mason-Dixon Line into Delaware on March 10, Harriet Tubman Day.
The public celebration will be on March 10 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, located at 815 Justison St. in Wilmington, Del.
“To reach 1 million black women by 2020, we knew we needed to be even bolder and hold this unprecedented trek,” says GirlTrek co-founder T. Morgan Dixon. “Harriet Tubman saved her own life first and then went back time after time to save the lives of others, giving us the blueprint for the work GirlTrek does today. This is radical self-care at its core.”
“The reality is, black women and girls are living under trying circumstances. Many of us live in communities that are under extreme stress, whether it be from crime, lack of a living wage, blight or gentrification, and the current political climate is only making matters worse,” adds GirlTrek co-founder Vanessa Garrison.
“Now it is even more important that GirlTrek works to re-establish walking as a healing tradition,” says Garrison. “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.”
You can follow GirlTrek on The Root’s Instagram page from March 6 through March 10, and also through social media using the hashtag #HarrietsGreatEscape.