This week marks the Jewish holiday of Passover, which, at least in part, celebrates freedom from slavery.
As we observe it, let’s not forget those who fought for freedom in our own country. For instance, this year’s Passover follows last week’s announcement from the U.S. Treasury that abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be featured on the $20 bill. Tubman played a key role in the Underground Railroad, which helped an estimated 100,000 slaves achieve freedom in Canada and the North.
Tubman is a well-known historical figure, let’s not forget the thousands of other heroic Americans who joined in the fight for freedom. In the video below, historian Amy Sturgis recounts the importance of John Horse and the Black Seminoles, who created the largest haven in the U.S. South for runaway slaves and led the largest slave revolt in U.S. history. She argues that this story of freedom from slavery should be a much bigger feature in American history.
Even if we don’t celebrate Passover, we can still take this week to remember the many great examples of freedom from slavery throughout history.
And soon, we will be able to celebrate—at least a little bit—every time we use a $20. And when we do, let’s remember that the journey toward freedom in our country has required the dedication and sacrifice of thousands of individuals and communities.