June 13, 2024



Afrofuturism: A Guided Journey Through Harriet Tubman’s Legacy

2 min read

Embark on a captivating exploration of history, art, and Afrofuturism in a docent-led talk that unveils the profound legacy of Harriet Tubman. This unique event, hosted at the Smithsonian, promises a fresh perspective on Tubman’s life, her multi-faceted identity, and the impact of her activism. Join them for a 15-minute talk that transcends time, narrating the tremendous stories behind a featured object in their permanent exhibitions.

About the Program:
Harriet Tubman, known by many names—Araminta, Moses, conductor, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt—left an indelible mark on history. Her legacy of care, activism, and bravery continues to resonate, influencing generations of Black women. In this program, visitors will delve into the life of Harriet Tubman through the lens of two renowned artists, Alison Saar and Bisa Butler. Through their artwork, the audience will gain a deeper understanding of Tubman’s journey and the infinite possibilities of Afrofuturism.

Event Details:

  • Date and Time: Sunday, January 21, 2024
  • Location: Program meets at the Harriet Tubman Quilt by Bisa Butler, in the Visual Arts Gallery, L4
  • Duration: 15-minute docent-led talk
  • Cost: Free; walk-in
    Tours are subject to docent availability; last minute cancellations may occur.
  • Photo Credit: NMAAHC (National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Discovering Harriet Tubman through Art:
Alison Saar and Bisa Butler, through their artistic expressions, provide a unique perspective on the life of Harriet Tubman. Saar’s sculptures and Butler’s vibrant textile creations serve as portals into Tubman’s world, inviting visitors to witness the resilience, strength, and grace that defined her. The juxtaposition of traditional artistic mediums with the concept of Afrofuturism adds layers of complexity to the narrative, offering an immersive experience that transcends conventional storytelling.

Harriet Tubman’s Multi-Faceted Identity:
Beyond being a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman’s identity is explored in its entirety during this program. Visitors will gain insights into her roles as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and aunt—roles that contributed to the mosaic of her character. The docent-led talk aims to humanize Tubman, presenting a holistic view of the woman behind the historical figure.

Infinite Possibilities of Afrofuturism:
Afrofuturism, a genre that combines elements of African culture, history, and speculative fiction, takes center stage during this event. The featured object becomes a gateway to explore the infinite possibilities that Afrofuturism offers in reimagining historical narratives. Tubman’s legacy, viewed through this futuristic lens, sparks conversations about the intersections of tradition, innovation, and imagination.

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