Multiple efforts have been made over the past 50 years to name a school in Auburn in honor of Harriet Tubman.
Everyone knows, or should know, what a heroic individual Tubman was. After taking her own freedom, she returned 13 times to free her family and friends, about 70 people, through the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War she worked as a cook, laundress, nurse and spy, freeing some 750 people as the first woman to plan and execute an armed expedition. After 150 years she has recently been inducted into the U.S. Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame. In addition, Tubman worked relentlessly for the abolition of slavery and for equal rights for women. She chose Auburn as her home and spent the last 50 years of her life here. While there may be others from Auburn who have made great contributions, no one has done more than she.
It's time for the school board to make, in the words of John Lewis, “some good trouble, some necessary trouble” in order to bring the change our community needs — to become more inclusive and to give Harriet Tubman the honor she rightly deserves.
Laurel Ullyette is a member of Harriet Tubman Boosters.