- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
This title in other editions
Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and Historyby Milton C. Sernett
Synopses & Reviews
Harriet Tubman is one of Americaandrsquo;s most beloved historical figures, revered alongside luminaries including Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History tells the fascinating story of Tubmanandrsquo;s life as an American icon. The distinguished historian Milton C. Sernett compares the larger-than-life symbolic Tubman with the actual andldquo;historicalandrdquo; Tubman. He does so not to diminish Tubmanandrsquo;s achievements but rather to explore the interplay of history and myth in our national consciousness. Analyzing how the Tubman icon has changed over time, Sernett shows that the various constructions of the andldquo;Black Mosesandrdquo; reveal as much about their creators as they do about Tubman herself.
Three biographies of Harriet Tubman were published within months of each other in 2003andndash;04; they were the first book-length studies of the andldquo;Queen of the Underground Railroadandrdquo; to appear in almost sixty years. Sernett examines the accuracy and reception of these three books as well as two earlier biographies first published in 1869 and 1943. He finds that the three recent studies come closer to capturing the andldquo;realandrdquo; Tubman than did the earlier two. Arguing that the mythical Tubman is most clearly enshrined in stories told to and written for children, Sernett scrutinizes visual and textual representations of andldquo;Aunt Harrietandrdquo; in childrenandrsquo;s literature. He looks at how Tubman has been portrayed in film, painting, music, and theater; in her Maryland birthplace; in Auburn, New York, where she lived out her final years; and in the naming of schools, streets, and other public venues. He also investigates how the legendary Tubman was embraced and represented by different groups during her lifetime and at her death in 1913. Ultimately, Sernett contends that Harriet Tubman may be Americaandrsquo;s most malleable and resilient icon.
An exploration of the way history, meaning, and memory have interacted in the process of transforming Harriet Tubman into an American icon and a figure of inspiration like Abraham Lincoln or Fredrick Douglass.
About the Author
Milton C. Sernett is Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and History at Syracuse University. Among his books are African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness and Bound for the Promised Land: African American Religion and the Great Migration, both also published by Duke University Press, and North Star Country: Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom.
Table of Contents
1. andldquo;Mintyandrdquo; 11
2. andldquo;Moses the Delivererandrdquo; 41
3. andldquo;General Tubmanandrdquo; 73
4. Sarah Bradfordandrsquo;s Harriet Tubman 105
5. Saint, Seer, and Suffragist 131
6. The Apotheosis of andldquo;Aunt Harrietandrdquo; 165
7. Earl Conrad and the Book That Almost Wasnandrsquo;t 195
8. andldquo;Spirits Risingandrdquo; 225
9. Pride of Place 255
10. Historians Have Their Say 293
What Our Readers Are Saying