A tribute and tree planting for John J. Creighton, researcher, poet, and local historian, was held on Sept. 17 at the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden in Cambridge. Creighton devoted his life to researching Harriet Tubman and the geographic areas that were associated with her life before the Civil War. His knowledge of the areas and research were the foundation for many of the national, state, and local initiatives related to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. He also helped many authors and scholars write books about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The Washington Post Magazine recently featured a story about Creighton.
Chris Elcock, the lead architect behind the design of the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, gave a presentation about the building’s hidden symbolism in July. Writer Jim Duffy writes about the presentation. Read the story. The Visitor Center is scheduled to have its grand opening on March 10, 2017 in Church Creek, Maryland.
To mark the anniversary of the passing of Harriet Tubman, there will be a Tubman Day Symposium on March 10 at 4pm at the new (and not yet officially open) Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park Visitor Center. (NOTE: If construction issues prevent the event from happening there, the symposium will be moved to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center at 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD. Updates will be posted here closer to the event date.)
The title of the symposium is “Re-examining the Meaning of Freedom: Harriet Tubman’s Fervent Quest to Return.” The symposium is open to all. The objective of this symposium is to explore the African American journey towards freedom and the extent to which an “afterlife” is achieved. After freeing herself, Harriet Tubman returned to the Eastern Shore of Maryland several times to rescue several members of her family. Apparently, freedom took on a different face for a “lonely” Tubman and the idea of personal freedom without her love ones gave her greater determination to help others escape so to experience “freedom” with a sense of wholeness.
Invited panelists will take a closer look at their research to further examine the aftermath and true meaning of freedom for “runaway slaves” within a historical context. The overall goal of this formal interpretive program is to prompt opportunities to re-evaluate the historical question of “Freedom” within a 21st century paradigm. This scholarly discourse which will include a moderator, panelists and audience participation will essentially create new conversations on civil disobedience, resistance and the many assertions that the Underground Railroad becomes the backdrop for the modern American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and beyond. This special event seeks to challenge this and future generations to think more provocatively about American slave historiography and the longstanding Civil Rights movement leading up to the ever-changing present day “freedom” narratives across the globe.
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park Visitor Center is located on Route 335 adjacent to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
The Harriet Tubman Banquet celebrates the life of a freedom fighter, scout, spy, nurse and abolitionist born in Dorchester County, Maryland. The banquet begins at 2:45pm on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High Street in Cambridge, Maryland. The theme is “Harriet Ross Tubman is Coming Home – We Thank You.” Honorees include Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Barbara Mikulski; Representative Andy Harris, and Former Governor Martin O’Malley. The event is sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Organization, Inc. Tickets cost $35 per person or $60 per couple. Contact person for ticket info and reservations is Donald Pinder at 410-228-0401 or 410-330-1185.
Could Harriet Tubman end up on the $20 bill? It’s possible! A grassroots movement, Women on 20s, is pushing to replace Andrew Jackson with a historic U.S. woman. And the woman they selected — with help from more than 600,000 people who voted — is Harriet Tubman! (They started with 20 history-making women in the running, and then narrowed the field to four finalists including Harriet, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller.) While the movement has gained attention from around the world, it’s up to the Treasury Department to make decisions on who’s represented on U.S. currency. We think this courageous and selfless leader, spy, scout, nurse, and all-around humanitarian deserves the honor. Read more in this Baltimore Sun story.
Registration is now open for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference, happening in Cambridge, Maryland, on June 5 and 6, 2015. The annual event features two days of workshops about Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad — as well as opportunities for local tours through the landscapes where Harriet Tubman once lived. The idea is to bring together professionals and individual researchers who have undertaken study regarding Harriet Tubman and the many other people who risked their lives to provide slaves an opportunity to escape this region, and place them into a larger context of national importance. Find out more information and register at www.tubmanugrr.com.