Google+ Q Dot: #GetFree - Harriet Tubman, the first indie musician.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#GetFree - Harriet Tubman, the first indie musician.

Harriet Tubman, also known as Moses to those she freed from slavery through the Underground Railroad, is one of the most famous figures in black history in America. Born to enslaved parents, it was believed that her family lineage is traced back to the Ashanti people of Ghana. After a series of dreams prompted her to escape slavery, Harriet got enough courage to tell her husband who in turn laughed at her and according to legend, threatened to be the person who would tell on her if she dared attempt escape.

She did it anyway - and the rest is, as they say, history.

After freeing herself and making it to Philadelphia, Harriet became homesick and made many trips back to free slaves including her own immediate family and others. Harriet never lost a passenger on the Underground Railroad.

What is little understood about escaping slavery was the true danger of it. To understand the risks involved take into account just how dangerous slavery was and any attempt to flee it...

-It's estimated that roughly 10 million of the Africans were sold into slavery in the West African Slave Trade made it to the "New World" destination - 30 to 40 million died en route.

-Of the estimated 500,000 slaves who made it to America only 30,000 escaped slavery. Those who got caught BY LAW we're beaten as their legal punishment and often sold deeper into the south to avoid risk of escape.

So how does this make Harriet Tubman the first indie musician? Well, it doesn't. LOL. But when I came up with the theme of Underground Railroad for my latest CD, I felt compelled to put on display for people to see just how her story and that of the Underground Railroad is no different than the indie musician's.

The odds are against us. Those who are closest to us will tell us we're crazy and that we need to find something else to do. For a few of us though, we have those dreams that haunt us and every time we think about giving up or giving in those dreams come back and at times, more vivid then before. More times than not it's the dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through our passion in music. Like the Underground Railroad of years past, some of us face grave consequences if we fail. Sometimes the scars of failure will be something we take to the grave, none the less we still dream.

I made the Underground Railroad, in part, as a testament to the life of the indie musician and the idea that permeates our brains that generally goes something like: I can do this on my own, on my terms and have the success I truly desire. I don't need a major label I just need my music, my plan and my drive to succeed.

And to that thought I say #GetFree.

Check out the soundtrack to Black History Month, Q Dot's Underground Railroad on iTunes and ReverbNation