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Harriet Tubman

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Poem Activity

Have fun with the poem by trying this...

This poem tells the story of Harriet Tubman, an American woman who was born into slavery, escaped and then spent her life bravely rescuing many other 'Black sisters and brothers'.

Harriet Tubman's spirit is captured in the dynamic language of this poem. Take a look at the first two lines. Can you find where they are repeated later in the poem? Practise saying these lines with strength and determination - as Harriet would have needed for her rescue missions.

Now look at the last two lines of the poem. The same line is repeated but how will you say it each time? The same? Or different? Why?

October is Black History Month. Could you perform ‘Harriet Tubman’ for other people? Or try other poems that tell stories from Black History such as John Agard's 'Checking Out Me History', Rita Dove's 'Rosa' or Pamela Mordecai's 'Lament of an Arawak Child'.

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Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff
Wasn’t scared of nothing neither
Didn’t come in this world to be no slave
And wasn’t going to stay one either

“Farewell!” she sang to her friends one night
She was mighty sad to leave ’em
But she ran away that dark, hot night
Ran looking for her freedom

She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods
With the slave catchers right behind her
And she kept on going till she got to the North
Where those mean men couldn’t find her

Nineteen times she went back South
To get three hundred others
She ran for her freedom nineteen times
To save Black sisters and brothers
Harriet Tubman didn’t take no stuff
Wasn’t scared of nothing neither
Didn’t come in this world to be no slave
And didn’t stay one either

And didn’t stay one either

Harriet Tubman

by Eloise Greenfield