"Black Moses Barbie" and more Harriet Tubman tidbits

Be Free or Die by Chris Miller
It's Black History Month (or African-American Heritage Month for you pee cee types), so black people are running around Googling our ancestors and sending mass emails, so I guess it's only appropriate that I join in on the festivities in my own way. As it turns out, I have crossed paths several times in the past couple weeks with the story of the mighty Harriet Tubman, the mother of the Underground Railroad. In case you're drawing a blank, the Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by the slaves to escape to free states (and Canada) with the aid of a network of people sympathetic to their cause. Anyways, a few days ago, I was checking in on Chris Miller, who did some art for my magazine, and ran into the awesome Harriet Tubman drawing above. "She knew that if the slave did go back he or she would probably be tortured into giving up the routes to underground railroad." Chris reveals on the artist comments. "So the slaves either had to continue on with Harriet to freedom or die on the spot."

Black Moses Barbie (Harriet Tubman Commercial) (1 of 3) from pierre bennu on Vimeo.
My long-time internet friend and wordsmith Ti (no, not the rapper) pointed me at this video today,which characterizes Harriet Tubman's mission in comedic and easily digestible fashion. And finally, I was recently commissioned to draw a visualization of an African time-traveler who meets Tubman on her deathbed.
I did this for Jay Kelley, a Houston-based writer and stand-up comedian I met on Facebook. I posted some preliminary sketches I did for this on my art blog Ziontific. Just click here to check it out. Anyways, to learn more about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, click here to hit the Wikipedia, or here to check out some books and DVDs on Amazon.


Vee (Scratch) said...

Samax, I love your piece Brother meets Harriet Tubman. Solid.

When I first saw the "Be Free or Die" Tubman image I thought to myself, Cool! GhettoManga puts me up on another cool upcoming project. Alas, not happening, it is just an image. A good one though. Honestly, I can do without the type treatment. That woodcut type treatment has been the go to African-American for a long time. No shots of course.

samax said...

yeah, I would pay money for a "Be Free or Die" OGN, woodcut type and all! lol!

I get the impression it was one of those throwaway off-the-dome pieces for Chris, but I still think it's worth spinning off into a comic!

Thanks, for dropping by, Vee!

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