Black Businesses Honoring Harriet Tubman’s Powerful Legacy in Auburn, NY


( ENSPIRE Business ) The Town is Full of Black Businesses Built in the Same Vein as Harriet Tubman’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

ENSPIRE Contributor: Martin Draus

Auburn, NY is the hometown of Harriet Tubman, the conductor of the Underground Railroad. The great number of slaves she helped free was her strongest accomplishment, but it was not the only thing she did. Tubman was also a businesswoman who took many business ventures while growing livestock and bartering goods. Her efforts are still honored to this day with many black businesses keeping her legacy through their work.

Even though Harriet Tubman was a slave, she was also very clever and knew how to get around her situation. She made a deal with her enslaver to pay yearly for her freedom to work with whoever she chose. Tubman had a talent for entrepreneurship, and she utilized her freedom to make an additional income to purchase herself two oxen and other livestock and goods. The citizens of Auburn, NY are very proud of Tubman’s history and their enterprises are a prideful reminder of it.

In Auburn, NY, many different businesses exist to empower people of all colors to honor Tubman. Melody Smith Johnson uses her business Divine Coverings to produce products for women, and she owns a non-profit organization to support young women of color. Ashley McLeod, the director of In Our Words Apparel offers clothing with statements including “Be Like Harriet” and other empowering lines.

Gwen Webber Mcleod helps support leaders of all fields and colors, so that they may achieve success. Erica Manners is an artist who gets her work showcased in the Seward House Museum Gallery under the title “Black Excellence”. Marcia Myers owns an establishment that provides authentic Jamaican and American food to customers. Arthur Hutchinson handled the Harriet Tubman mural unveiled in Auburn last year. These people and many more are responsible for the businesses and economy being as strong as it is in Auburn, which is what Tubman would have wanted.

Harriet Tubman is an incredible figure in American history. Her legacy has left an impression on many people in the town of Auburn, and those people have kept it alive through their businesses and the support they give. Harriet Tubman’s entrepreneurial spirit has kept echoing till the present day, and it will continue to do so as more people succeed.

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