Some 100 years after her death, Araminta Harriet Ross is finally getting her props.
You know Ross better as Harriet Tubman, that bold sister who escaped from slavery in Dorchester County, Md., and returned – 19 times, by some accounts – to lead other slaves north and to freedom.
I prefer calling Tubman Araminta Harriet Ross. When she was born to Ben and Rit Ross sometime in the early 1820s, they named her Araminta. She took on the first name of Harriet after she escaped bondage. Tubman was her married name.
The man she married, John Tubman, wasn’t worth the proverbial tinker’s dam. According to author Catherine Clinton, who wrote Ross’ biography called “Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom,” Araminta Harriet Ross, after escaping to freedom, risked a return to slavery, if not her life, by coming back to lead her husband north to freedom.
She found out that not only did John Tubman not want to go with her, but that he’d also married another woman.
I see no reason why this swine’s surname should go down in history just because he married the baddest sister to ever grace American shores. So for me, Araminta Harriet Ross it is.
John Tubman might have been better off going with Ross when she came to fetch him. In 1867, some white man gunned him down, “in cold blood on a lonely stretch of road” in Cambridge, Md., Clinton revealed in her book.
Tubman’s accused killer was charged with murder, but an all-white jury acquitted him on the grounds of self-defense.
Looks like Tubman refused to do what his first wife did on the voyages she took back to the South to rescue slaves. All those celebrating the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument recently designated by President Obama might not be so giddy once they realize one thing:
Araminta Harriet Ross did indeed carry a handgun.
Ever since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., we have seen a crop of what I call Nervous Nellie Negroes spring up on the matter of gun control.
The NNN’s – as I call them – have hopped on the same gun-control bandwagon white liberals have been on for years. Gun control is an absolute necessity, the NNN’s proclaim. Republicans opposing gun control are, at best, useless, and the National Rifle Association is downright racist.
That’s no exaggeration. Black sports columnist Jason Whitlock is on record as saying that he thinks the NRA is the new Ku Klux Klan, completely ignoring the irrefutable fact that Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate – both veterans of the Union army during the Civil War – started the NRA in 1871. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, another Union veteran of the Civil War, was the NRA’s first president.
Nervous Nellie Negroes tend to forget that the first thing Robert Franklin Williams did when he rejuvenated an NAACP chapter in Monroe, N.C., during the 1950s was to apply for an NRA charter. He got one.
After organizing Monroe blacks into routing KKK hoodlums that tried to shoot up Monroe’s black community in 1957, Williams had to appear in court several times. At one point, he told the judge he was a “card-carrying member” of the NRA.
Williams’ advocating that blacks arm themselves for self-defense caused skittishness among white liberals and the NNN’s of his day. Those NNN’s and white liberals were only too content to leave Monroe’s blacks to the tender mercies of the KKK.
The organization that did have the backs of Monroe’s blacks was the NRA.
Like Williams, Araminta Harriet Ross was not afraid to carry. Today’s NNN’s want to forget that. Several years ago, the Associated Black Charities group in Baltimore commissioned an artist to paint a mural on their building.
The mural depicted Ross carrying a rifle, which caused some consternation with the ABC’s NNN contingent.
“It might send the wrong message,” one of them lamented to me.
“What message might that be?” I answered. “That historical accuracy is something to be avoided?
Here was a sister that had to take slaves – sometimes as many as a dozen at a time – north through hostile territory where slave patrols roamed all the time. And today’s NNN’s expected her to do that UNARMED?
And slave patrols weren’t the only reason Ross carried. She used that handgun to persuade slaves who’d lost their nerve and wanted to turn back south to continue pressing north.
In her book Clinton told of one incident where a man escaping with Ross refused to move north with the others. He changed his mind after Ross put her pistol to his head and ordered him to “Move or die!”
I wonder what Araminta Harriet Ross would have to say about today’s crop of frightened NNN’s.