Tributes to Tubman: Auburn celebrates 100th anniversary of abolitionist's death with music, words

2013-03-07T03:15:00Z 2013-03-08T00:39:48Z Tributes to Tubman: Auburn celebrates 100th anniversary of abolitionist's death with music, wordsSamantha House, The Citizen Auburn Citizen
March 07, 2013 3:15 am  • 

Harriet Tubman spent her 93 years on earth severing shackles.

Born into slavery, she escaped captivity in 1849. However, gaining her own freedom did not satisfy Tubman. According to the Library of Congress, Tubman spent 10 years repeatedly navigating her way back into the place where she was once enslaved, leading hundreds of people to freedom in the North.

Aptly dubbed "Moses," Tubman spied for the Union and served as a nurse during the Civil War. Following the war, Tubman settled down in Auburn, where she participated in the women's rights movement and established a home for the elderly, where she worked until her death in 1913.

This weekend, the city that laid the famed abolitionist to rest will commemorate the 100th anniversary of her death with three days filled with music, poetry and spiritual reflection.

On Friday, the Booker T. Washington Center will kick off the celebratory festivities with "A Tribute to Harriet Tubman," a musical performance slated to start at 6 p.m.

The commemorative activities will continue Saturday morning when members of the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church and the community attend a wreath-laying ceremony at Tubman's grave in Auburn's historic Fort Hill Cemetery.

The day filled with the most events, however, is reserved for Sunday, the actual anniversary of Tubman's death.

At 11 a.m., the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church will start off the day with a morning service with Superintendent Constance Evelyn, of the Auburn Enlarged City School District, serving as the service's guest speaker.

At 2 and 4 p.m., the Auburn Public Theater will host "Famous Auburnians," an original children's musical production that features the stories of the city's most famous residents, including Tubman.

An hour later, poet Cyd Charisse Fulton will orate "Feeding off the North Star," a series of original poems inspired by Tubman, at the AME Zion Church. Her poetry reading will be following by a question-and-answer period.

Finally, at 5 p.m., a commemorative memorial celebration will honor Tubman at the church. This event features keynote speaker the Rev. JoAnne M. Terrell, with music provided by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.

Although this weekend is bound to serve as a fitting tribute to Tubman's legacy, Auburn won't stop celebrating Tubman when the sun sets Sunday. The rest of 2013 will be filled with a slew of Tubman-themed events in honor of Moses, a woman who never stopped fighting for equality.

Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2282 or samantha.house@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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