Woman walks Tubman trail

By Dave Ryan
Dorchester Banner
CAMBRIDGE – Mashona Council is from Atlanta, Ga., but was drawn to Dorchester County by stories of Harriet Tubman’s escape to freedom and her subsequent efforts to lead other slaves to the North. Her interest led to challenge herself with a walking journey along the route followed by Ms. Tubman when she escaped slavery.
Ms. Council began her journey on Sept. 17 at the Dorchester County Visitor Center in Cambridge (Byway site 1) and visited all 36 Byway sites while camping overnight. She followed the 125-mile trail as a personal challenge and a spiritual journey.
“Her trip mirrors Harriet Tubman’s first attempted escape to freedom begun on Sept. 17 in 1849,” a written statement from Dorchester Tourism said.
Though Tubman’s initial attempt was not successful, she did succeed in gaining her freedom later that year, when she escaped in December.
Maryland and Delaware residents followed Council’s inspirational journey on social media, as she passed from Dorchester into Caroline County, and from there into Delaware.
Peter Bernstein wrote, “We visited a number of the sites today and while it’s so sad to imagine the pain and hardships endured by so many, it’s also a story of incredible bravery, resilience, resourcefulness and power. I’m humbled by [Tubman’s] greatness.”
Ms. Council said on social media, “I understand now, how Harriet Tubman made it to freedom. It was an age-old recipe made up of equal portions of courage, strategy, faith, prayer, the kindness of strangers and God’s grace.”
Along the way, maybe reminiscent of Ms. Tubman’s own experiences, Ms. Council was offered words of encouragement, food and water. The help came both from those who knew of her trip and admired her for it, and from people who didn’t, and simply thought Ms. Council could use a kind word or a drink.
“I thought I was doing this alone, but this has truly been our Freedom Walk 2017.”

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
Mashona Council and her father visited the African-American history mural in Cambridge before she began her walk through the Dorchester County portion of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway last week.

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