In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history—Harriet Tubman—a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today.
Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before.
Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation’s true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman’s life that is both informative and engaging.
Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman’s life, photos (both new and those in public domain), commissioned illustrations, and sections including “Harriet By the Numbers” (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and “Harriet’s Homies” (those who supported her over the years), She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation’s history.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Her second book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award. She is also the author of She Came to Slay, an illustrated tribute to Harriet Tubman, and the co-executive producer of the HBO series The Gilded Age.
“This book is fascinating . . . hyper accessible . . . Harriett Tubman is one of those people [that I thought] like I know her, I’m a black person, I know Harriet Tubman, and it turns out, I did not know her. And I’m so so so glad that I read this because I think that, you know that feeling is so familiar; I know that name, it exists for me on multiple levels of understanding, having someone really interpret the primary sources and give you a new understanding of actually what this person’s life means and what it means in the context of today was such a powerful read for me...It is a page-turner and there’s so much life into that it’s so different from your typical stereotypical history book.”—Aminatou Sow, Call Your Girlfriend