On Tuesday, Focus Features released the first trailer for the upcoming film Harriet, a biopic about the gun-toting abolitionist Republican Harriet Tubman. A bona fide American hero, she escaped slavery, led dozens of fellow former slaves north to freedom on the Underground Railroad, helped John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and aided the Union Army as an armed scout and spy in the Civil War. She also campaigned for women’s suffrage.
Cynthia Erivo stars as Tubman (1822-1913) in the film, which appears to be a fitting tribute to the American heroine. The film centers on her escape from slavery, her leading others to freedom on the Underground Railroad, and her efforts in the Civil War. The trailer includes many inspiring shots of Tubman training to use a gun to defend herself.
“God don’t mean for people to own people,” Erivo says in the trailer. The trailer also shows black Christians meeting in church.
The heroine was born Araminta Ross and changed her name to Harriet upon her marriage to the free black man John Tubman. She became known as “Moses” for leading her people out of slavery on the Underground Railroad.
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