CAMBRIDGE – Members of the Harriet Tubman Organization, Inc. (HTO) held their annual banquet on Saturday, celebrating their namesake and dedicating themselves to continue her legacy of advancement and equality for African-Americans.
HTO Board Member William Jarmon recalled the first banquet, saying that Shirley Jackson had found a Banner article from 1992 covering the event. Those Harriet Tubman Coalition founders, he said, “are the ones who took the initiative to put Dorchester County on the map.”
Mr. Jarmon introduced 2018 honorees Olivia Anderson, Nancy Hebb, Jim Duffy, Jill Jasuta, Michael Rosato, Charles Ross, Terry Louise White and George Wright. The individuals had supported the mission of the HTO through a variety of artistic endeavors, including painting, literature and photography.
The Dorchester Banner also received a plaque for the newspaper’s special publication, “The View North,” which details the life and work of Harriet Tubman.
“Harriet Tubman changed the way a lot of people thought,” HTO President Donald Pinder said. “It took a strong-willed person.”
“We have a lot of work to do,” Tyrone Elliott said. “We have to continue to tell the story.”
Keynote speaker Vincent O. Leggett is president and chief executive officer of The Leggett Group USA, an Annapolis-based government relations and lobbying firm. In 1984, he began the “Blacks of the Chesapeake” project, documenting the contributions of black watermen. Among his many other accomplishments, Mr. Leggett was appointed and commissioned an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay by former Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
The theme of Mr. Leggett’s speech was, “Oh Harriet, Have You Heard,” in which he listed the commemorations of Ms. Tubman’s life and work, including the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Dorchester County.
“Schools have been named in your honor,” he said. “Children sing in your honor.”
He finished his talk, saying, “We love you, we honor you, today and forever.”
The HTO’s office is located at 424 Race St., Cambridge. Phone 410-228-0401.