CLARENDON HILLS – Actress Pamela Welcome visited Prospect School for the fifth-graders’ annual Civil War Days on April 17, giving a moving portrayal famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
In front of several fifth-grade students and their parent, Welcome retold the Tubman’s life story and how she led thousands of African Americans to freedom by way of the Underground Railroad.
“You’ll not only be able to sympathize with what Harriet Tubman went through, but what all people went through during that time,” said Welcome, who portrayed Tubman.
Welcome divulged several lesser-known facts and stories about Tubman, including how she received a scar on her forehead.
As Welcome explained, a slave was trying to escape when the overseer caught them and asked Tubman for assistance in his capture. Instead, Tubman blocked the door so the slave could run away.
During the ensuing struggle, Tubman was struck in the head and concussed. She went in and out of a coma for several months and later suffered from sleeping spells, narcolepsy and migraines.
“Harriet was able to recover, but suffered from things that would affect her for the rest of her life,” she said. “In spite of this injury she was able to go on to do so many wonderful things.”
Students and parents also learned that Harriet was responsible for helping thousands of slaves reach freedom in Canada and pass the Mason-Dixon Line to the northern states. Later, Welcome said Tubman became spy, nurse and scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.