Harriet Tubman

Self-declared presidential candidate Kanye West delivered a winding and unconventional campaign introduction speech in which he proposed a $1 million payout to each new mother and decried Harriet Tubman for her work on the Underground Railroad.

But whether the rapper and fashion designer is actually seeking the nation's highest office remains a question.

Historical sign
Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/taedc/31557195515

The term “Underground Railroad” evokes the image of the legendary Harriet Tubman engineering daring escapes in a false-bottomed carriage or slaves following the North Star through dark woods. Researcher and longtime history professor Adrienne Israel says those popular images only tell a sliver of the story.

Photo of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick
AP Photo/Todd Kirkland

During the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the pregame national anthem to take a stand against police brutality and racial inequality. His actions set off a heated debate, and as the NFL made their position about athlete protest more clear, Kaepernick’s future with the league got increasingly murky. 

Harriet Tubman is an American legend. History books know her best as the architect of the underground railroad, but she was also the brains behind a dangerous expedition during the Civil War.

She may have also had a rich and complex love life, but the details of that for now are mostly fictional ones, portrayed in the new historical novel “The Tubman Command” (Arcade/2019).

Cover of the book, 'A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland'
Courtesy of DaMaris Hill

The number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700 percent between 1980 and 2016, according to data from The Sentencing Project. Poet DaMaris Hill cites this statistic at the beginning of her new book, “A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland” (Bloomsbury Publishing/2019).