Hooray for Harriet!

Harriet is a fine name, a strong name. Two of my favorite heroines are named Harriet: The one who inspired me to be a voracious and irreverent student of the world, and the one who risked her life so others could have their own life.

The former is on my bookshelf, and the latter will soon be in my wallet, bumping off Old Hickory, he of the ready duel and the Cheese Punk.

The last was Susan B. Anthony, on the dollar coin. (Although there was a Sacagawea coin as well, I guess that doesn’t count because it was a limited release…?)

Harriet Tubman (1822?-1913):

documentary on the Underground Railroad for children: Follow the Drinking Gourd, Told by Morgan Freeman:

Based on the traditional American folksong, this compelling tale recounts the daring adventures of one family’s escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad…

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom * Catherine Clinton

Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman * Kate Clifford Larson

Far More Terrible for Women: Personal Accounts of Women in Slavery * Patrick Minges

book for children (Caldecott Honor book): Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom * Carole Boston Weatherford

The Harriet the Spy series (some were continued after the author’s death by the estate, these three are the Real Deal):

  1. Harriet the Spy
  2. The Long Secret
  3. Sport

and the movie, which does great justice to the first book, but left out Harriet’s lovely “RAT FINK”s. Try emphatically saying “FINK” or “RAT FINK” next time the computer crashes or your phone battery dies–put a lot of oomph into it. It’s a marvelous release, purely for its ridiculous lack of profanity, like a reboot for the soul. As is Harriet’s other trick for when she is flummoxed: simply becoming limp and falling from her chair onto the floor silently, therein buying some time to ponder.

What’s extra nifty (everything’s connected) is that both Harriets were spies.

Andrew Jackson at The Dollop:

hat tip: Tony Todd, the Candyman, for the above embedded retweet. Thanks, man. You’re awesome, as always.

So, bye, President Jackson, you are being replaced by an American hero, who never challenged anyone to a duel at 20 paces, and who never threw ragers at the White House. (You rat fink.)

And with that, I leave you with this incredible photograph, courtesy of the Library of Congress:

Portrait of Harriet Tubman, 1911, Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911
Portrait of Harriet Tubman, 1911, Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, (1897-1911)

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