Harriet Tubman (c. 1822 – 1913) was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a secret network of routes and safe houses that guided black slaves from the American South to freedom in the North and into Canada. Born a slave herself, Tubman contributed to the northern effort in the American Civil War by serving as a Union Spy. Later in life and up until her death in 1913, Tubman was a staunch humanitarian and advocate for women’s suffrage.
“I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say — I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.”
–Harriet Tubman, As quoted in Women’s Words : The Columbia Book of Quotations by Women (1996) by Mary Biggs, p. 2 (h/t Wikiquote)
“The world and our perceptions have changed a lot, even since the ’70s, but there are lingering stereotypes. If you ask an 11-year-old to draw a scientist, she’s likely to draw a geeky guy with a pocket protector. That’s just not an image an 11-year-old girl aspires to.”