Sunday, November 1, 2020


It’s going to be a big day in Old Ellicott City. Beginning at one pm, there will be a historic reenactment of sorts as the Suffragists March for the Vote in Ellicott City. You can learn more about the event here:

March in Ellicott City, complete with costumes, will mark 100 years of women’s suffrage , Katie V. Jones, Baltimore Sun

From the article:

...women dressed in period costume march from the Museum of Howard County History to the B&O Railroad Museum before setting up shop at the Little Market Cafe courtyard to deliver speeches from 100 years ago in support of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

The event, part of the Howard County Historical Society’s Year of the Howard County Woman, involves cooperation between a number of local groups, including the League of Women Voters, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Former County Executive Liz Bobo, honorary spokesperson for the Year of the Howard County Woman, will be one of the speakers.

With the celebration occurring right before Election Day, it can serve as a good reminder not only of the local history which led to women’s suffrage, but also as a powerful motivator to exercise the right to vote in this year’s presidential election. So it’s a looking backward and looking forward event. 

I’d like to turn your attention to a different kind of a march that I discovered in this article from the Washington Post.

Why these women just walked Harriet Tubman’s 116-mile journey from the Underground Railroad , Sydney Page, Washington Post

At the age of 65, Prince George’s County resident Linda Harris undertook a journey of discovery and contemplation when she and a group of seven other women:

...retrace(d)  Tubman’s footsteps along the Underground Railroad, traveling by foot from Cambridge, Md., to Kennett Square, Pa. — totaling roughly 116 miles.

After George Floyd was killed while in police custody Ms. Harris found herself drawn to reconnect with a book her father had given her as a child: Runaway Slave: The Story of Harriet Tubman. (Ann McGovern, 1965.)  As she re-read the account of Tubman’s courageous journeys to bring enslaved people to freedom, Ms. Harris felt herself mobilized to do something meaningful in reponse.

“I felt like my freedoms had been taken away, with the pandemic and the social injustice,” said Harris, 65, who lives in Mitchellville. “The book was the impetus to do something, to act.”

Reporter Sydney Page does an excellent job of telling the story of the march, moving from one woman and her inspiration to the community she formed and how, together, they made her vision a reality. Even if you only have a few free articles from the Washington Post, this one is worth it.

Just as today’s March in Old Ellicott City encourages us to look forward as well as back, so does Ms. Harris’ walk from Cambridge, Maryland to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Ms. Harris and her team, who call themselves “We Walk With Harriet”, didn’t merely cover a physical distance to prove a point. They also used their journey to educate, and their outreach ultimately raised almost $6,000.00 to support the Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center in Cambridge.

One more thing: did you know that, later in her life, Harriet Tubman was a strong advocate for women’s suffrage? 

Today is definitely a good day to contemplate where we came from and where we intend to go.

Have you voted yet?


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