|REEL FACE:||REAL FACE:|
Born: January 8, 1987
Stockwell, London, England, UK
Born: c. March 1822
Birthplace: Dorchester County, Maryland, USA
Death: March 10, 1913, Auburn, New York, USA (pneumonia)
Leslie Odom Jr.
Born: August 6, 1981
Queens, New York, USA
Born: October 7, 1821
Birthplace: Shamong Township, New Jersey, USA
Death: July 14, 1902, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Harriet's First Husband
Yes. In the Harriet movie, these visions unfold before us in literal form as washed-out, crazed montages of people, birds, memories, and the future. The visions are at times strong enough to make Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) collapse. It's true she believed that the visions were spiritual messages from God. The Harriet true story reveals that they began after a head injury she received as a child between 1834 and 1836, when an enraged slave owner threw a two-pound iron weight at a slave trying to run away, striking Harriet (then Minty) by accident. The impact cracked Harriet's skull and led to a lifelong battle with headaches, seizures and narcolepsy.
Yes. A Harriet fact check reveals that Tubman escaped from slavery, fleeing Poplar Neck in Caroline County, Maryland in September 1849. Using the North Star and rivers as her guides, she made her way to Pennsylvania and then headed to Philadelphia, a total distance of roughly 100 miles.
Yes. She invited her two brothers and her free husband, John Tubman, to flee to the North with her via the Underground Railroad. Her husband refused her invitation and decided instead to remain in Maryland. Her siblings fled with her but turned back out of cowardice.
No. Gideon (Joe Alwyn), the young slave owner who is portrayed as having been a childhood companion of Tubman, is entirely fictional. The character represents the many young people who grew up alongside the slaves owned by their parents. Gideon does share the same last name as Edward Brodess, Harriet's former owner who died in March 1849. In real life, Edward's death is what prompted Harriet to escape, since she was about to be sold to a new master farther south. In the movie, the fictional Gideon continues to pursue Tubman after her escape. Gideon's mother, Eliza Brodess (Jennifer Nettles), is based on a real person, Edward's wife. -The New York Times
Not exactly. Born Araminta 'Minty' Ross, the true story reveals that she changed her name to Harriet Tubman around the time of her first marriage. Tubman was the last name of the free black man she had married while enslaved, John Tubman. She chose Harriet for her first name to honor her mother.
No. In conducting our Harriet fact check, we learned that the freeborn northern black, Marie Buchanon, portrayed by Janelle Monáe, is not based a real-life individual. However, there certainly were similar freeborn blacks who aided Harriet. In the film, Marie is a boarding house proprietor who helps Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) and teaches her how to behave like a proper free woman.
In researching how accurate the Harriet movie is, we learned that Tubman made approximately 13 trips from the South to the North, guiding slaves along the Underground Railroad to their freedom.
Yes. Like in the movie, a Harriet fact check confirms that because her identity was unknown, coupled with the fact that she had freed so many slaves so quickly, local plantations began referring to her as Moses.
Yes. She had attended church services from the time she was a child. Prior to her freedom, she attended the churches of her masters, as slaves were often required to do. Thomas Garrett, a fellow Underground Railroad agent, said of Harriet, "[I've] never met with any person, of any color, who had more confidence in the voice of God, as spoken direct to her soul . . . and her faith in a Supreme Power truly was great."
Yes. There was indeed a bounty on Harriet Tubman's head. In the film, we see posters citing a bounty of $200 or $300. This is far more realistic than the often-repeated myth of $40,000. That is a ridiculously high number, especially given that the bounty on John Wilkes Booth's head was $50,000. If the number was indeed that high, she would have certainly been captured. Below is an ad taken out by Eliza Brodess after Harriet's escape. Harriet is referred to by her birth name, Minty, in the ad. -The New York Times
Yes. Tubman had several alternating roles during the Civil War, including working as a nurse, scout, spy and cook for the Union Army. As a nurse, she provided care to both wounded soldiers and liberated slaves. Her duties grew to include scouting and spying behind Confederate lines. She is credited as being the first woman to lead an armed raid into enemy territory. In June 1863, she led Colonel James Montgomery and his Second South Carolina Black regiment up the Combahee River, overtaking Confederate outposts and liberating over 700 slaves along the way.
Yes. In 1869, she married a veteran named Nelson Davis (pictured below), who was more than 20 years her junior. In 1874, they adopted a baby girl named Gertie.
As we explored the answer to, "How accurate is Harriet?" we discovered the short documentary below that provides an overview of Harriet Tubman's life. Also view the movie's trailer.