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Celebrating Women's History Month: Baltimore through the eyes of Harriet Tubman

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My children, I see you toting weapons–knifing and shooting one another.

I hear the cries of the slaughtered and of the loved ones left behind.

I ask myself ... what is your motive for using such violence, today?

Are you bearing arms for the liberation of our people?

Will the killing of that young sister give a man back his dignity?

Will the killing of that young brother reunite a mother with her child?

What is your reason for bearing arms in Baltimore?

I had reason to use my gun.

I carried a rifle in one hand and a lantern in the other while leading hundreds of enslaved Black people in the Maryland region to freedom in states further north and into Canada.

Understand my children; my reason for carrying a rifle was to protect the people in my charge and to ward off enemy slave catchers.

Again, I ask you ... what is your reason for bearing arms in Baltimore?

Would you equate the securing of a block for the purpose of selling drugs to protecting lives of enslaved people who were deprived the liberty of freedom?

Do you believe your participation in the genocide of our people in Baltimore is righteous?

Are you so self-absorbed that you have lost touch with your history and our God?

Why do you put your own self-interest before the interest of your community?

Have you forgotten the history of your ancestors?

Let me share my testimony with you.

You see, I was a gun-toting woman on a God-ordained mission.

Historians document anywhere from 13 – 19 trips where it is believed that I rescued more than 70 and up to possibly 300 slaves using a network of abolitionists and safe houses in and around Baltimore known as the Underground Railroad.

Only God knows how many trips I actually completed and how many more enslaved people I helped steal into freedom.

I was known by many titles: an abolitionist, a humanitarian, a Union spy during the American Civil War, and a Black Moses.

During the post-war era, I became an advocate for women's suffrage.

I knew my purpose, and I lived a surrendered life to God.

God spoke to me, and I became His freedom fighter.

What is your purpose?

Is it God-inspired or self-seeking?

What injustice are you fighting in your community?

Are you protecting the lives of an enslaved people or are you fighting to keep a people enslaved?

Would you dare forget my story ... my legacy ... our history?

I understand ... I realize your life has been difficult.

Do you think life for me was easy?

Do you think I never experienced pain?

As a child, I was almost killed by an angry overseer who tossed a steel weight at my head that left me with an ugly scar to remind me of his impudence.

I suffered heartache when my first husband chose another woman over me.

I watched friends and family members endure the hardships of slavery.

I sacrificed the company of loved ones and endured beatings as I led secret missions to set my people free from the shackles and chains that deemed them unworthy of human dignity.

I knew pain, and I shed many tears.

Yet, I never used my trials or tribulations as an excuse to live a defeated life.

My heartache became my fuel for my fervor.

The canals of history will forever tell the story of my actions and speak to the greatness of the God I serve.

What will history say about you?

Will you be remembered for being a willing vessel of God's glory or will history record your actions as just another senseless crime in Baltimore?

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