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Spelman College Faculty Stories

Faculty Stories

Dr. Brandi Brimmer Speaks to the Historical Accuracy of “Harriet”

November 2019

Spelman College Professor Brandi BrimmerSpelman College associate professor of history and slavery historian Brandi Brimmer, Ph.D., C’95, shared her thoughts on Harriet Tubman and the historical impact of resistance during an advanced screening of the new film "Harriet" based on the abolitionist’s legacy.

Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film depicts Tubman’s escape from enslavement and her harrowing returns to the South as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Engaging a sold-out crowd of all Spelman students, Dr. Brimmer, a historian of slavery and emancipation, led a discussion about the struggles of enslaved women, the humanity of those who were oppressed and abolitionists, and the ways in which Black women developed strong communities post-Civil War.

In a recent article published on, Dr. Brimmer addressed Tubman’s role leading a secret military mission in South Carolina’s low country.

“First and foremost, her priorities would be to defeat and destroy the system of slavery and in doing so, to definitely defeat the Confederacy,” said Dr. Brimmer, who is currently working on a book that will analyze the history, memory, and consequences of the Fort Pillow Massacre (1864) in African American life and history.