Saturday, March 12, 2016

USNA Midshipman Presents Governor's Harriet Tubman Day Proclamation

U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Midshipman 3rd Class Ashanti Curry presented an official proclamation from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan at the State Capitol March 10 commemorating the 16th Annual State of Maryland Harriet Ross Tubman Day of Remembrance.

This is the 6th year that a USNA midshipman has presented the proclamation.


"I feel extremely honored to be giving this proclamation,” said Curry. “I remember in middle school giving a speech about Harriet Tubman and ever since then she had a huge impact on me. She was so powerful and determined, I feel that this should tell African American females that they can do anything.”

The event, hosted by State Senator Catherine Pugh, featured a number of prominent Maryland political leaders including Louis Fields, president of the Baltimore African American Tourism Council; Errol E. Brown Sr., president of the Wiley H. Bates Sr. Foundation; Dr. Dale Greene, professor in the Morgan State University's School of Architecture and vice chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture; and representatives from voting districts in and around Annapolis.

“It is so important that we partner with our local community,” said Capt. Pat Williams, USNA's diversity officer. “We are so thrilled to be a part of this occasion, the sixteenth annual Harriet Ross Tubman Day.”


"It is great that our state, our leadership, our senators, our delegates, and our governor, have embraced Harriet Tubman Day," said Fields. "You have a young woman in the mid-1800s who gave everything she could to help her fellow man, fellow woman to freedom. Harriet Tubman said ‘I could not be free until all of us are free,’ and through honoring [her] we give life to the many others who sacrificed ... in the process of helping others find freedom."

Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Maryland native, played a critical role as a civil rights activist and Underground Railroad operator during the 19th and early 20th century. Over the course of her life, Tubman made an estimated 19 trips along the eastern coast of the U.S. and into Canada, rescuing more than 300 people from slavery.

“People like Harriet Tubman did great work for this country,” said Fields. “It is important for the youth of today to know about great abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, and young people today do not have that connection to the past unless they are taught. The lesson for them today is helping others, showing respect and not just look out for yourself but ... looking out for each other.”

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