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Harriet Tubman: An African-American Hero

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Harriet Tubman was driven to undertake the mission of rescuing and freeing slaves from plantations. She undertook the goal by persevering, putting her life on the line, and taking dangerous risks. An example of her persevering is when she was six at the loom. She had been coughing and sneezing and she felt like she would die any second, but she kept on looming. She took the risk of getting whipped when she stood in the way of a white man when he was trying to capture a colored person.

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Harriet needed to persevere, or she would be whipped, or worse, sold. “She was whipped so often that the back of her neck was covered in scars, crisscrossed with scars, so deep that they would be visible for the rest of her life” (Ann Petry 45). Because of this, she learned how to persevere and be tough. That skill helped her when she rescued her first slave. Persevering was a skill she needed to go back and forth to rescue slaves.

She put her life on the line for the slaves because they were her family. They dug together, bled together and sweat together. “It was as though the pet names, the diminutives, were no longer suited for a teenage girl who bore on her forehead a great scar, irradicable evidence of the courage rarely displayed by a grownup” (Petry 72). That scar is from a two pound weight a white man threw at an escapee, but Harriet intercepted it with her head. A couple years after that, she made her first major life-threatening risk: rescuing her first slave.

She also took other dangerous risks. “One day in 1849, when Harriet was working in the fields, near the edge of the road, a white woman wearing a faded sunbonnet went past, driving a wagon. She stopped the wagon, and watched Harriet for a few minutes, then she spoke to her, asked what her name was, and how she acquired the deep scar on her forehead” (Petry 89). She made the risk of talking to a white woman. Harriet did not know if it was safe to talk to her or not. All of her risks paid off in the end. That woman carried her to safety.

Harriet Tubman was determined to undertake the mission of freeing slaves. She undertook her mission by persevering, taking dangerous risks, and putting her life on the line. She persevered by not letting her fallbacks bring her down. She put her life on the line by standing in front of a guard trying to catch an escapee. She took many risks, put her life on the line, and persevered, and that made her an African-American hero.

Work Cited

Petry, Ann. ​Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad. ​New York, 1955, Print.

07 September 2020

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