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This is how I celebrate Black History Month, by watching Harriet two months afterward. I hope nobody reports me to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

It's the story of Harriet Tubman, a slave dreadfully abused by her masters. (Like all slaves are, more or less.) Out of a mixture of bravery, desperation, and divine guidance, she escapes her Maryland farm and makes it over the Mason-Dixon Line to Pennsylvania, where abolitionists see that she gets a new job as a maid.

But she decides her true talents lie elsewhere, in helping her family escape as well. So she takes the risk of returning to Maryland to extract more slaves north. These forays are incredibly dangerous but nevertheless they work. Harriet gradually becomes infamous as a slave-stealer in Maryland, and becomes famous as a liberator among her new allies.

Some of the characters and many of the action scenes were (as it turns out) heavily fictionized. That's fine, It's also a darned fine advertisement for the Second Amendment, as Harriet is not shy about carrying and using the weaponry of the day.

The actress playing Harriet, Cynthia Erivo, was Oscar-nominated, but Renée Zellweger won.

Last Modified 2024-01-23 2:06 PM EDT