The spiritual beliefs of enslaved people were much more intense and sincere than that of the slave master. Slave masters invented their own form of Christianity which was based on simply tradition and not real belief, racist interpretations of Christianity, or on mostly the Old Testament. The Bible, like any other sacred book, can be used for good or bad. Slave masters would often use sections of the Bible to justify their insane beliefs. They tried to keep the Bible away from slaves, but when allowed it was presented in such as a way as to ignore righteous judgment. They never wanted slaves to read John 7:24 which said people can judge others as long as it is righteous judgment: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (KJV). The master did not want this to be taught for any righteous judgment of their inhuman system of bondage would surely produce a revolt. Nat Turner knew this in 1831, as this freedom fighter struck a blow against American slavery.
Harriet Tubman was inspired by the Bible despite the slave master’s attempts to water down the revolutionary humanism of the social Gospel of Jesus Christ. Harriet Tubman was known then as “Minty” in the early days of her life. Being born on the eastern shore of the country she was very familiar with the backwoods and marshes of the area. Her knowledge of various terrains would be helpful later in her efforts to led slaves to freedom. In fact, she became an animal trapper, a skill that would help her survive in the forests. She could find food in the wetlands and swamps in the Chesapeake area of Maryland. The area was full of beavers, muskrats, fish, and other animals that could provide food and clothing to a skilled hunter—Harriet was just that. “Minty” learned that in the woods a safe place could be established from the racist eyes of slave owners. She was also called “Hatt” by some. For many years she lived with her parents a long way from the back door of the slave master’s house which helped to feed her understanding of freedom. Little children love animals and the natural world outside, and it would stand to reason that one would wonder why the lower forms of life could be so free and yet living next to brutal racist humans.
Harriet Tubman became the “Moses of her people,” one who would be entrusted by God to lead people to freedom. Tubman became convinced that this was her calling from God,which would later become inspiration for blacks seeking freedom across the United States. John Brown, the hero against slavery heard of Harriet Tubman’s efforts to liberate slaves and wanted her to join him on the attack against slavery at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Harriet Tubman was not a freedom fighter in words only, and unlike Frederick Douglass she would provide the action needed to free slaves. Harriet Tubman was an ancestor of the great warriors of West Africa.
Harriet faced the horrors of slavery as both of her sisters were ripped away from the family as sold South never to be seen again. Harriet has seen enough of the fake Christians slave owners and made it known in her own words; “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive; I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted . . . .”