Harriet Tubman is an iconic figure in American history – the runaway slave from Maryland’s Eastern Shore who went back to the South, braving great dangers, to free her fellow-slaves and became the most successful “conductor” of the Underground Railroad. Yet the secret of Harriet Tubman’s achievement has rarely been told. She was a dreamer and a seer. In her dreams and visions, she could fly like a bird. Her gift may have been associated with a near-death experience in her childhood, when an angry overseer threw a two-pound lead weight that laid open her skull.
We learn from her how great gifts can spring from our wounds. Harriet herself said she inherited special gifts – including the ability to travel outside the body and to visit the future – from her father, who “could always predict the future”
In The Secret History of Dreaming, I examine the evidence that her ancestors were Ashanti, and that she may have inherited something of the Ashanti experience of dream tracking. I also look at the influence of the first, fiercely brave and inspiring, itinerant black women preachers, whose example may have helped Harriet develop the power to transfer her vision. She could sing courage into people’s hearts.