Harriet Tubman, the Movie. 10 Takeaways.

Harriet, the movie opened in America this weekend. Watch out for spoiler alerts if you still plan to see it!

Harriet is a movie released November 1 depicting young, fiery Harriet Tubman as a dynamic American heroine. The movie was directed by Kasi Lemmons. Lemmons is from St. Louis, Missouri and has over 30 acting credits, along with 10 directing credits. The lead role is played by a relatively fresh face on the big screen, Cynthia Erivo.

1. If you are going to walk 100 miles for a man, do it on God’s word and not his.

2. Don’t be jealous of sis that appears better off than you. She’s probably a thug too.


3. There will be many times in life that people think you are crazy. If you feel called by God, do it anyway. Then find a committee of people that appreciate your brand of crazy. Support is life. Lol.

4. Not everyone is made for freedom. I repeat. Not everyone is made for freedom. Not even all of your flesh and blood want to be free.

  • Spoiler Alert – It is interesting that her sister is the one that chose to stay and her brother is the man that challenged her journey. It’s the people that know you the best that will push you the furthest. Sometimes those challenges lead to elevation, resolution, and success. Her brother’s challenge really helped Harriet solidify herself as a leader. She became Moses at that moment. However, other times things don’t work out. Like with Harriet’s sister, Rachel. Attempting to save Rachel also pushed Harriet to her limit. But it caused nothing but pain, loss, and regret. Either way, Harriet kept banging. Bitter or not, hurt or not, she kept pushing forward with her purpose. That must have been incredibly painful, though.

5. The movie really showed black men in a variety of ways without over-developing irrelevant characters. We saw so many different types of men drawn to her cause. In the same breath, you also see the men willing to die trying to kill her.


6. Give me liberty or GIVE ME DEATH. Harriet is so classically American it almost hurts. She rules the world the way the white men have before her, with her gun on her side and her knife in your back. Honestly, she could have shot a few more people in my opinion. In the same breath, I appreciate the producers for not turning this into a kill-show. It was very appropriate.

7. The last thing that stood out about Harriet is that she may have had epilepsy. The fact that these were translated as visions from God is super interesting. I took from it this – Lean into the things that make you damaged. Maybe that’s where He speaks the loudest. Become comfortable with them. Get close. I love that Harriet trusted herself enough to believe that she was in communication with God. That’s incredible.

8. At one point in the movie, the scout trying to find Harriet says very clearly, ‘they have to come this way.’ Harriet has a vision and leads her people in a completely different direction. Man. There is no clear direction anyone can cut off for you when you are willing to collaborate and improvise. She helped her crew work together over that river and on to freedom.

9. Christianity is not what the millennials hellbent on hating the church make it be in this movie. Rather than provide ideological justification for the institution of slavery, the church was a part of a spy network. It was a communication organization, gathering space, place of education, and the first stop to escape. I love that depiction and I imagine it’s not far from the truth in many cases. Churches today may have forgotten but they are the great-grandchildren of the first black militant organizations in this country. And that’s lit. (That’s because Jesus is really that dope guys. Lol. Facts.)

10. “I go to prepare a place for you.” – What does that mean? Lol. Harriet. Man. Would I have had the courage to be Harriet Tubman? I know that physically I could do it. But what on Earth does it really feel like to go against so many things you have been told? At every turn in the movie, someone is telling Harriet, no. Stop. She watches the people she loves go through hell because she chooses to be Moses. How hard is that? Could I really be Harriet Tubman if God called me to it? A fascinating and frustrating thought experiment that doesn’t get me a solid answer. But, probably not. I am going to pray on that courage in her honor though. Facts.

As far as action movies go, this was lit. I was sitting in the theater wishing that I had that outfit Harriet was in for the last scene. Ready to lead an armed expedition across any American frontier. Lol. Except, nope. Nobody actually wants to do that. But damn, nobody makes walking 500 miles, in fear, hunted by dogs, with absolutely no technology look more heroic than Harriet Tubman in this movie.

So, from here on out, CALL ME BY MY FREEDOM NAME, Herstun. And STOP telling me WHAT I CAN’T DO!

#LetsGrow #LoveAlways


Written & Edited By Herstun


Yall. I have no problem with the black male slave catcher. As a matter of fact, there are black men in and outside of my circle that would sell their souls to the devil to catch and destroy me. I have said this before and I will say it again: being black feels like it gets easier over time. It’s like the world is opening and allowing black people to breathe a little. Being a woman just keeps getting harder the older you get.

To fact check the film check out this USA Today article.

For more from Omar Dorsey on playing a black slave catcher, read this!

Harriet, what would you say if you could see the way your children have portrayed you? How would it feel to know you are our very own badass? Must be dope. Sleep easy.

Published by W.D. Herstun

Editor-in-Chief. Curator. Dreamer. I want to bring people together, one story at a time. Sometimes, we all just need a little perspective. The arts & humanities can help us regain humanity and change the world. Believe that. Achieve that. #LetsGrow

9 thoughts on “Harriet Tubman, the Movie. 10 Takeaways.

  1. “Leaning into the things that make you damaged”. I am going to do some contemplating on this.

    Thanks for this well developed break diwn. I plan to see the movie this week, so I didn’t (on purpose) completely digest all of your thoughts… there are already some great insights that I’ll take with me when I see it. I’ll come back once I watch.

  2. I heard this was coming out! I skipped the spoilers because I still plan to see the movie but I love the way you set this up as life lessons the movie taught instead of a traditional review- definitely sounds like it’s worth seeing!

  3. Such an important post mostly for the information you share about the issues of living in a world that marginalizes people for the color of their skin, for what they believe, or the culture that sustains them. As Harding said, we are not yet a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-faith society and the repercussions of this is staggering. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. I’m gonna have to see this movie in theaters after reading this review! I love a movie with a message or something you can learn from it and this sounds like a great movie. Great job reviewing this film!

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