Historian Cleo Kay Coleman portrayed freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) last Sunday in a stellar performance at Beulah Baptist Church in Rixeyville.
Coleman, 88, gave a historical account of the life of Tubman, explaining that Harriet was a slave who never learned to read or write and received visions from God that guided her survival during the tough times of slavery. These visions along with the lessons she learned from her father, the Quakers and abolitionists helped her to free more than 300 slaves.
Tubman fought against those who sought to continue slavery while taking slaves as far as Canada to be free. Her determination and strong will became an obsession to free as many slaves possible. Tubman always consulted God through prayer before making any trips in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans.
Tubman later became a scout, a spy and led a section of the Union Army. Mrs. Cleo Coleman recounted that Harriet always carried three things: her bible, a walking stick and a pistol. Affectionately, Mrs. Tubman was known as a “pistol packing woman” who believed that God didn’t mean for any human to own another human being.