When it was announced that the $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman, the famed abolitionist who was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, was indefinitely delayed, an enterprising artist named Dano Wall created a stamp that admirers of Tubman could superimpose on the bill.
Now Tubman fans have something else to look forward to: the new Focus Features biopic Harriet, which will have its debut at the Toronto Film Festival and be released nationwide on November 1.
Based on the trailer, the film seems to focus on the first time Tubman escaped from slavery and her unthinkably brave decision to return south to help free others, eventually making her the most significant figure of the Underground Railroad.
There’s lots to be excited about: The film is directed by the talented Kasi Lemmons, who previously directed the sultry Eve’s Bayou. It stars the scene-stealing Cynthia Erivo, recently seen electrifying audiences in Widows and Bad Times at the El Royale, as Tubman. Heavy hitting costars include Janelle Monaé, Joe Alwyn, and Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.
If there’s one disappointment, it’s that the film was shot in central Virginia, not Maryland, where Tubman was born and raised. Still, Tubman admirers in Maryland have lots of opportunities to celebrate and learn more about her life, at both the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center.
Until then, watch the trailer, below.