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Harriet Tubman has been known by her many names and roles—Araminta Ross (her birth name), Moses (a nickname), conductor, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt. All encompass the intersecting identities and experiences of her life.
On the bicentennial of her birth in March 2022, we explore not just Harriet Tubman the icon, but Harriet the woman. Her legacy of care, activism, and bravery have influenced generations of Black women.
Objects related to Tubman’s life highlight her impact on her contemporaries, including the shawl gifted to her by Queen Victoria. Others, such as her apron, reveal her domestic life as a wife and mother, and her hymnal signals the devout religious beliefs that inspired her to “conduct” hundreds of African Americans to freedom from bondage.
In 2017, a photograph of a young Harriet Tubman surfaced that had been lost to history for more than a century. Hear the story behind this picture, and learn how its discovery changes the way we see Tubman—not just an icon of freedom and human dignity, but a courageous young woman. Learn more about Tubman’s life and legacy from our National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Curator, Women’s History
National Museum of African American History and Culture