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Posted inArts + Books

National African American museum reveals plans for rare Harriet Tubman photo

Call her Moses or call her Minty. Just know when you call her, you headed for freedom.

We are speaking, of course, of the great Ms. Harriet Tubman, fierce conductor of the Underground Railroad, Union Spy and American hero, whose life has had a resurgence in light of replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill and because of Aisha Hind’s deft portrayal of her in the latest season of Underground.

Some months ago, a rare photograph of Tubman was discovered in an album of white abolitionist Emily Howland. The album went to auction shortly after and was purchased for $161,000 by the National Museum of African American History and Culture in conjunction with the Library of Congress.

The photo, which is the only one known to depict Tubman in her 40s, will be digitized for public access, according to a spokesperson for NMAAHC.

The Citizen of Auburn reports that the Harriet Tubman Museum in Auburn, N.Y., where Tubman lived and the photo was taken (she is also buried there) tried to buy the photo but was only able to raise $27,000 in its #BringHarrietHome campaign.

Harriet Tubman Home President Karen Hill said Thursday she was “profoundly disappointed” the national museum didn’t reach out to the Tubman home as an additional partner in the photo’s acquisition.

However, a curator at the Smithsonian’s newest museum says it would review any requests to display the original photo at the Harriet Tubman Home. The site recently became part of the national park system.

Read more at the Auburn Citizen.

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