Most Influential Black American Leaders of All Time

Harriet Tubman

Without a doubt, the most celebrated runaway female slave, Harriet Tubman’s bravery and selflessness has long inspired generations. Born a slave in Maryland around 1820, Tubman became sickly as a child. Reported epileptic seizures didn’t squelch Tubman’s thirst for freedom. Although she successfully escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, Tubman was not content with just her own freedom.

Dubbed the Moses of her people, Tubman braved bounties on her head to travel from the North back into the danger of the South for over a decade to lead others to freedom. Brandishing a gun, she, as legend has it, turned it on scared slaves who pondered turning back to keep them motivated on freedom. During the Civil War, Tubman didn’t rest, reportedly serving as a nurse and a spy. And, even after that, she was a strong advocate for women’s suffrage.
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