In Preston, MD, there’s a tree that Harriet Tubman and her family passed by on the way to freedom.
The tree stands on one of the many Eastern Shore farms where Tubman and her relatives labored as slaves – not as farmers, but as loggers. While much of the forest shows the signs of having been clear cut more than once, this 200-year-old tree remains standing, a living witness to the courage of Tubman and those who escaped with her on the thirteen trips she made back to Maryland to free family members and friends after she had escaped herself.
Standing in that forest, you get a sense of how terrifying the escape must have been. But you also know that you’re standing in Tubman’s legacy: the farm is now owned by two black women who are partnering with two young black farmers to lead a resurgence of African-American agriculture in Maryland and across the country. Tubman risked doing what no one would have thought possible – and the power of that choice continues to echo through generations.
Tubman rescued “just” 70 people – a number that could easily be dismissed compared to the 4 million people enslaved at that time. Running a grassroots campaign for County Council might seem to be a small thing in the face of global environmental, economic and social challenges. But these seemingly small things have the power to transform our lives, and the lives of those who come after us.
The conventional wisdom about who holds power and makes decisions for our communities is no longer acceptable for our families, our communities, and our children.
When children have to march in the streets to make sure their schools are safe and free from gun violence, it’s time to challenge the status quo and demand effective gun control laws and end the stranglehold of the NRA on our gun policy.
When women are consistently paid less than men in every field, and women are underrepresented in politics at every level, it’s time to make sure we have reforms that create equity in the workplace and in politics.
When hardworking people cannot get affordable housing or ensure that their families are fed, it’s time to move away from a trickle-down housing and economic theory to create policies that benefit the people, not corporate and big money interests.
Unconventional women have won freedom for themselves and their communities. In this final week of March, as we celebrate the leadership of diverse people across our communities will you support Brandy’s campaign to challenge the conventional wisdom about political leadership in Montgomery County?