In the Spirit of Harriet….

In the Spirit of Harriet....

Today marks the 101st anniversary of Mama Harriet Tubman’s transition to the ancestral realm (Mojuba Mama Harriet, Ibaiye). To honor her legacy, women and men across the country hosted conversations, brunches, walks, runs, gatherings–virtual and in person. Some of us decided to use social media as virtual gathering place for a ring shout of sorts. We gathered to lift our voices on Sunday morning to first express our gratitude and then our commitments to carrying her legacy forward to future generations. The call to virtual action went a little something like this:

“For those of us who recognize that we are the direct, distant and cultural descendants (beneficiaries) of Mama Harriet Tubman’s will, courage, spirit, faith, resilience and love—join me tomorrow in a virtual day of thanks and commitment in honor of her and women’s history month. Tomorrow morning, before your feet hit the floor and after you thank the Creator for breath, life and another opportunity to manifest your heavenly destiny, consider answering 2 questions:

1. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman, I am able to……. and I am thankful. I salute you Mama Harriet, thank you.

2. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s resilience and tenacity to free her people, I will commit to…..

After you have your answers, post them to your profile with the #IntheSpiritofHarriet Please share widely with your friends and families. We all stand on the shoulders of giants. Let us not forget that if they did not have faith in what was possible for future generations, we would not be here. And let the believers say….Ase”.

Sidebar: Each person identified an accountability partner(s) to hold them to their commitments. They were to pick people they personally know, trust and respect. Those names are not shared here, but the intention still holds.

In the spirit of Harriet….

On this morning, as I rise to greet the Most High, my ancestors, my spirit guides and my heavenly destiny, I salute Mama Harriet Tubman.  I salute Mama Harriet Tubman (Mojuba Mama Harriet Ibaiye) because of Mama Harriet Tubman, I am able to wake up each day and know with certainty where my children are and that they are within arms reach or I can hear their voices and feel their energy. I am able to do the work of my own choosing–the work I love for my community (familial, cultural and extended). This work is the continuing effort to liberate my people and I am thankful. I salute you Mama Harriet, thank you.

Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s resilience and tenacity to free her people, I will (re) commit to planting and sowing the seeds of longevity because the struggle continues. Spiritual grounding and the reclaiming of traditions, clean healthy eating, moving my body to keep it strong, intellectual sharpness and wisdom, the embracing and protection of my culture and choosing to love in a manner that leads to healing. Loving God and my ancestors, loving myself and my children, loving my family and friends and, of course, loving my community. Loving it- me- them-all even when the love given does not illicit a response that is legible to me (still real), may not or cannot always reciprocated in the manner in which it was given, but it will be given nonetheless. #IntheSpiritofHarriet.  O.B.S.

Mojuba, Mama Harriet, Ibaiye!

Because of Mama Harriet Tubman, I am free, to choose, to love whoever my spirit leads me to and to choose who I share my spirit, heart and body with.

So many of my ancestors were not granted this freedom and the pain, rage and grief associated with it, lives on in my bones.

Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s resilience and tenacity to free her people, I will commit to walking in my power and staying ready. I will go about doing this by believing in my own voice, the voice of my ancestors and the voice of the most high. I will stay ready by taking better care of my body and my spirit. This can be done by getting back to juicing, exercising, dancing, praying, singing, writing, meditating, loving, reciprocal skill sharing, gardening, learning how to shoot a gun and not eating as much of the things that I know that I shouldn’t (unless, it’s really good bread that goes with my really good brie). R.D.

Because of mama Harriet Tubman (mo juba iba aye mama Harriet) I am able to wake each morning here in the southern part of the United States to birds, squirrels and magnolia trees. To lazily, if only for a moment, enjoying the sun, peeking through the windows of my big old house with the white pillars in the front, and know that I can sing my commitment to my family, to my people, to myself out loud. That I can be bold, that I can be boisterous that I can come out of hiding, out of the shadows and declare my commitment to freedom. I am a commitment to ancestral healing, to loving all living beings whether on this realm or the next and to allowing that love to encourage others to do the same. I am a commitment to building the beloved community, a harm free zones, to a tale of one Durham, accountable to all its residents. I look to my children first to hold me accountable and then to my sisters both by blood and by choice. N.W.

In the spirit of Harriet Tubman I’m thankful to see the progress we have made as a people and the progress we have yet to make. E.M.

Great Rising Beautiful Ones!!! 1.Because of Mama Harriet I am able to pull from a reservoir of ancestral memory that loves me back to my authentic self and divine purpose. In our time we speak on the law of attraction, and how the magnetism of our intentions manifest our reality. Her example shows the type of love that not only attracts, but demands and commands the power to create extra-ordinary outcome. She reminds us all that where there is a will, there is a way – exemplifying mastery, priesthood, and magic. Mama Harriet realized that her freedom was a necessary requirement to the life she wanted to live, but one free is not free when the rest are still in captivity! Her life speaks volumes to the principles of Nguzu Saba LIVED, as the collective agenda became priority over all else! She aligned the desires of her heart and spirit for freedom with the power of her will! How amazing is that?!? 

2. Because of where I am in my life I am better able to see and appreciate the value of her example. Because of it, I will continue to deeply love myself and aim for self-mastery, realizing that this is the foundation of revolution! I will continue on my path of creating meaningful expressions of art through my music, to inspire, uplift and motivate the soul! I will channel these forms of expression into programs, projects and educational platforms for students to realize the ingenious nature if themselves. I am thankful for my accountability crew that keep me focused and on track! R.V.

1. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman I posses a resilient and strong view of what it means to be female. I can stand firmly and say with conviction that there is nothing that I cannot do if I am capable of imagining it. I also recognize my role in pushing others and uplifting them as I lift myself. I am not afraid to fight with one whom I care for in order for them to embrace their own greatness rather than watch them shrink back into the dark. We all get a little down sometimes!
2. I commit to inspiring and nurturing the development of self and others, (most specifically children) pursuing my dreams, and never letting anyone convince me that my size, age, race, spirituality, or gender is a reason for me not to reach high. I have the deepest love and gratitude toward those who push me, inspire me, remind me of who I am and what I am capable of when I seem to be forgetting, and hold me accountable for my words and deeds. H.B

Because of Harriet Tubman I am able to teach others about the value and significance of black literacy and public speech acts. What I mean is this: since knowledge of the alphabet was a death sentence for Tubman and her passengers, making it to freedom translates into us being able to freely assert the collective humanity of black people both in writing and verbally — just like here in this Facebook thread. 

From all historical accounts, Harriet Tubman herself did not read and was reportedly a woman of few words. But despite her personal temperament she more than got her point across every single time. I realize my vocation — though not as stark and grueling as Tubman’s — is valid too, which brings me to the second part of this exercise. 

2. I pledge to ROCK THE HOUSE during my presentations (the first a workshop facilitation on Black English and Digital Jim Crow, the other a speech on Obama and African-American Rhetoric) at the 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication national convention in Indianapolis the week after next. Like Tubman, I’m gonna “learn them folk” a few things about black agentive responses to white racial oppression, discrimination, and brutality. N.A.M.

1. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman, I am able to believe in the power and strength of women, especially Black women, to be powerful warriors for social justice, and I am thankful. I salute you Mama Harriet, thank you.

2. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s resilience and tenacity to free her people, I will commit to speaking truth to power, fighting against oppression and hate, defending love, and doing all of my part to create a better world. L.W.

Today I salute Mama Harriet Tubman, and I realize what a privilege it is to call her Mama. Because of Harriet Tubman, I am able to have the audacity to call myself a filmmaker, and to learn, teach and practice the craft of filmmaking. I use these gifts in an effort to liberate and encourage my people and my community, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be of service through film. I salute you, Mama Harriet, for showing me what a resilient, fighting, strong spirit looks like. Thank you for embodying the notion that “women who behave rarely make history.”

Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s courage and determination, I will overcome the challenges of my own life, assist my children in navigating and addressing their own, and be available and compassionate enough to love friend or foe through the issues of their lives. I want the same love shown to me that I offer to give. N.B.B.

I am thankful for the example set by Mama Harriet Tubman and devoted yesterday’s broadcast of The True Love Movement Hour with Brotha Shack and Mama Fiyah Ayanna on WBOK 1230 AM to honoring her legacy and lifting UP her spirit of Love and Service to OUR People. As I am surrounded by Amazing Warrior Women, I learn and benefit from (as Mama Andaiye Alimayu pointed out) Harriet Tubman, “didn’t have a cell phone, did have a perm or weave, didn’t have a computer, may not have had shoes…what she did have was a gun and a mission!” Because of Harriet Tubman, those women of my own lineage, and the blessings of Love and support from those Warrior Women in my daily experience, I make no excuses. I commit to the continued daily execution of my own mission to uplift and empower Black People – specifically Black Men and Boys. I am fortunate to have a Queen and daughters that will hold me accountable, as well as the generations that will come through the nations of my making. D.S. (Brotha Shack)

1. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman, I am able to move about the nation and world (more or less) as I choose. and I am thankful. I salute you Mama Harriet, thank you.

2. Because of Mama Harriet Tubman’s resilience and tenacity to free her people, I will commit to working for asset-based approaches to empowering the next generation of black youth. 

(Relatedly, like Mama Harriet, I won’t wait around to convince others to move toward freedom.) C.B. (Brotha Ced)

To add to this reflection: beyond being an outstanding general, it seems Mama Tubman was a mercurial figure (Esu-Elegba), in her own right. She could play on people’s sensibilities through her wit and garrulousness. Tubman was a woman of much verbal dexterity. She was an engaging and lively woman when she needed to be. She also had the ability to appear gender ambiguous at times. People who knew her well often spoke of her using masculine personal pronouns (such as “he”, “his”, “him”, etc.). These are some qualities that also made her an excellent spy. This was a woman renowned for her talents beyond giving birth… of course, she never produced a biological offspring. She adopted a daughter with her husband (20 years her junior), in fact. 

I think we celebrate Harriet Tubman by acknowledging the fullness of her experiences and contributions exceeding that of motherhood — becoming something more complicated over the course of her life. I learned how incorrect I was to characterize (even, stereotype) her as some taciturn crone who willed all her passengers forward with strength, and strength alone. Sometimes she cajoled and charmed her passengers to freedom and genuflected as a dissembling tactic to confuse and beguile her would-be captors. So I have to self-correct by stating that *Tubman wasn’t anywhere close to being a woman of few words — not if it wasn’t serving her purposes.

All that and PLUS she’d pull a pistol on you in a heart beat if you crossed her. I appreciate all sides of Harriet Tubman… the mother, sister, lover, “brother-in-arms”, wife was just too much of the total bomb to be labeled any one thing. That’s why I celebrate the life of Harriet Tubman.N.A.M

 I cannot write a lot but I am and always was led by her…. She has been my faith and strength — She did what she had to help us to freedom — she was a true Omo Ogun !! Reading all that’s here is educating. She is going to my Egun Shrine!! Have to take care of her !!! Lift her up !! Ase what a great way to elevate a spirit that will take care of us ! I.O.

What an honor to be wanted for saving lives. She is a role model for all women of color. V.E.

Harriet Tubman was a woman who was focused on her mission. She would not be distracted or deterred. In fact, she laid down the law to the men and women who accompanied her. If they became sidetracked – they could not continue on the journey and would be laid to rest. I am thankful for this opportunity to think about her focus as I walk my own path. At times, I have allowed others to sidetrack me from the journey I MUST take. I commit to staying focused and doing the work I must do. I will not turn around. G.C.

I am thankful for all the Sheroes who have gone before me. I honor all the Black women whose shoulders I stand on. Were it not for the courage, the audacity, the sacrifice of People like Mama Harriet and thousands of unsung Sheroes I certainly would not have the life I have today. I commit to getting up every day, doing all that I can with what I have, where I am at………

Thank full for her spirit that guides me through the shadows of death. In her time the enemy was clearer. Today sometimes those who look like us are just as mean. That is why she carried a gun. A.M.

Great day fb fam in the spirit of#MamaHarrietTubman…I’m thankful for all of my family those gone and the seeds still here. That I can speak freely and open about who I am. I’m a great work in progress! I’m nurturing to those I love. I thank the creator for allowing me to love freely. It doesn’t matter to who u pray I LoVE you! I will give MORE of myself.I will continue to love those who don’t love themselves. Standing on the shoulders of my ancestors!#inthespiritofHarrietTubman! J.R.

You already know; and if you don’t, please ask somebody. To whom much is given, much is expected; I personally stand on the shoulders of greatness!  C.H.

Such a great question…..I have so much to be Thankful for…but RIGHT NOW in this moment I am Thankful for my relationship with GOD!Thankful that God has been so patient, kind and loving to me — even when I was not patient, kind or loving to myself! So thankful that I serve a God of second, third and fourth chances , so thankful he is mine and I am his, so thankful for all my lessons and teachers., so thankful that I recognize that everything happens when it is supposed to happen and how it is supposed to happen and nothing is done by accident. I am committed to loving everyone, forgiving everyone and using my “gifts” to make the world a better place to live. Happy Sunday and God Bless you for reminding me of the value of THANKFULNESS! M.A.S.

Thankful for the spirit to fight, the discernment to know that I don’t know and the faith to keep in the struggle. We will get there together. #IntheSpiritofHarriet E.D.B.

I am most grateful that God has put in my heart the purpose of “SERVING” and “HELPING others who have been stricken with the pain of workplace injustice. I am equally GRATEFUL…that God allowed my path to cross the path of my sister. In the Spirit of Harriet “Moses’ Tubman, she recognizes, we must reach back and lift up the many heavy-hearted who are being trampled upon by a heavy injustice. T.W.J.

Because of Mama Harriet I know that free sometimes means letting go all the way of what I used to think would save me. Because of Mama Harriet I know every dream is a message and every life is an opportunity for freedom. A.P.G.