The British actress, singer, and songwriter stars in the long awaited Harriet which is about Harriet Tubman. Erivo is famed for her performance as Celie on Broadway in the revival of The Color Purple, winning the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was one of nine recipients of the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Alt caught up with her on the BFI Red Carpet and she explained what it means to play such a powerful historical figure. (Left pictured with Director Kasi Lemmons credit ALT A REVIEW)
But what do we know about Harriet Tubman? She was born around 1822, a tiny woman who could neither read nor write, but managed to pulled off superheroine-like exploits in the years before the Civil War. Her parents were enslaved on two different plantations it was documented that she was torn apart about this. With the help of the Underground Railroad, she not only escaped from a Maryland plantation to freedom in the North, she went back, 13 times over 10 years, to guide more than 70 enslaved people to freedom. And during the war, she became the first American woman to lead troops into battle, near Beaufort, S.C. Martha Teichner visits historic sites that were part of Tubman’s remarkable life story, and with actress Cynthia Erivo, who plays the iconic figure in a new biopic, “Harriet.” She spent the last 50 years of her life in New York. She died age 91 in March 1913.