Relatives Kick Off Harriet Tubman Centennial - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Relatives Kick Off Harriet Tubman Centennial

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - As the matriarch of her family, Valerie Ross Manokey lives her life clinging to the legacy of her relative Harriet Tubman.

"She's back home and we're celebrating," said Manokey. "I honor her everyday."   

Through times of adversity, she remembers a message she learned from the famed leader of the Underground Railroad.

Manokey says that "fear comes, but you have to learn to fight it and keep going."

Descendants of Tubman and Cambridge community members kicked off Black History Month and the Harriet Tubman Centennial with a wreath laying at the Tubman Memorial Garden. For them, it's a celebration of the life of a woman in her hometown who was far more than what people know.

"She was about working towards making everybody's life better, so she was not a selfish person," said Jacqueline Henry, a relative of Tubman.

"Harriet [Tubman] is that role model that I took for myself, a woman who was determined who had obstacles put in her way," said Cambridge mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. "But she kept going because she knew it was the right thing to do for her community."

For Manokey's family, Tubman's fight for freedom lives on through their stories. She tells a tale of a when Tubman's injury after being hit in the head.

"He says to Harriet in a soft voice, 'it's time to sleep' and he puts her to sleep and after he knows that she's ready to start her journey again, he awakes her and they go on their way."

Throughout the year, Dorchester and Caroline Counties will be celebrating Harriet Tubman with a number of events.  For more details, click here.

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