By Michael Ashcraft —
(spoiler alert) After several hair-raising chase scenes, armed runaway slave Harriet Tubman gets the drop on her former slave master.
Aiming her revolver, she steps out from behind a tree and demands Gideon Brodess, riding on horseback, to drop his rifle, which he does. But he tries to surprise her and pulls his handgun.
Harriet shoots his hand, walks over and grabs his rifle and trains it on him.
“God did not make people to own people,” she declares.
The fact that the biopic Harriet, in theaters now, portrays Christianity in a positive light is refreshing and rare from a secular production company from Hollywood. It would have been so easy for them to gloss over the ‘Black Moses’ connection to God in a rewrite that could have highlighted only feminism and race equality.
Harriet (played by Cynthia Erivo) decided to flee slavery in Maryland rather than be sold “down the river” and parted from her husband. Despite being illiterate, she successfully made the dangerous 100-mile journey to anti-slavery Pennsylvania.
A year later, she made the dangerous incursion back into Maryland to free her family. This became the mission of her life. Harriet Tubman, born Araminta “Minty” Ross, disguised herself, often as a man, to lead more than 100 slaves to freedom. She became notorious among white slave owners, who kept increasing the bounty on her head. Several riveting chase scenes are the fodder of this movie.
Harriet had a special connection with God. He answered her prayers and gave her visions that guided her away from ambushes. Nowadays, it seems that historians and movie producers so easily gloss over the inspiring faith of yesteryear’s heroes and rewrite history, omitting God. This movie shows no such bias.
The astonishing heroics of Harriet have prompted calls for her to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill in America.
Michael Ashcraft helps his journalistic ministry by selling bamboo steamers on Amazon.