The Largest Radical Conspiracy in U.S. History
The Underground Railroad when Harriet found it had already been in existence for over 50 years. Not only as the largest radical conspiracy in U.S. history, involving many thousands, but as a major front of the New Afrikan liberation war. Every war has its own character, its unique unfolding. Spontaneously, the mass revolutionary strategy of the New Afrikan slaves had first been to escape, by any means necessary. Stranded on a strange continent, these trickles and streams of escapes flowed together to create "free" communities of New Afrikans in the North, and in the Indian nations, to be seedbeds from which rebuilding offensives would grow. While at the same time robbing the Slave Power of expensive property and its already thin sense of security, weakening the pre-Confederate economy.
We are speaking here of a Peoples' strategy, worked out in practice by masses of slaves and ex-slaves themselves, of mass movements breaking out of prison camps and across borders.
When Harriet Tubman reached the first "free (non-Slavery) city of Philadelphia, she met William Still, the New Afrikan leader of the Underground Railroad there. Hooked up now, and having a rear base area, Harriet became a self-sufficient "conductor" on the Underground Railroad. Working most of the year as a laborer, cleaning or doing laundry or cutting wood, to support herself and save money for raids in the South. Twice a year, usually in the Spring and Fall, Harriet Tubman would travel hundreds of miles (much of it on foot) infiltrating Slave territory to bring escapees out. She conducted nineteen guerilla raids, even reaching deep into the Carolina plantation country.
While the Underground Railroad was famous in its own day, (...) it was very different than the images of daring Quakers we are spoon-fed today. It was mainly composed of New Afrikans, not euro-americans. There were many White abolitionists in the north, but relatively few were willing to risk themsleves, or even contribute much money...
As the settler political parties, including the new Anti-Slavery party, the Republicans, vacillated and tried to compromise to avoid secession, Harriet moved and moved others to develop armed struggle. "They may say "peace, peace!" as much as they like: I know there's going to be war!" Harriet said in one of her most famous statements. Her political-military work was like an arrow on a direct and one-way journey towards ever greater armed conflict. Each successively larger wave of the struggle saw her on the leading edge.
In 1858, Harriet Tubman joined John Brown's conspiracy to start a permanent guerilla army inside the south. (...) Brown had envisioned a small guerilla force, roaming up and down the length of the Allegheny mountains, sheltered in its terrain. (Harper's Ferry, W.E.B. DuBois said, was a natural entry point to the Alleghenys, and thus to the mountains running further to the South.) Like a tapeworm growing within the slave states, this army would come down and raid the plantations of Virginia and the Carolinas in lightning strikes, constantly growing by the recruiting of freed slaves while sending larger streams of escapees north via the Underground Railroad.
tiré de "Jailbreak Out of History: the re-biography of Harriet Tubman" de Butch Lee
Actuellement disponible à la Biblibertaire.