But every night when she went to sleep, her father would recount stories of her grandmother’s life. Harriet Thorpe was born into slavery 100 years earlier, in 1860, and was the “property”, she was told, of one Squire Sweeney in Howard County, Missouri.
“He told me about her struggles and how she still thrived in the face of them – she became a role model for me,” says Hall. “I wished I could go back in time and meet her.”
She couldn’t, but Hall was so inspired by Thorpe’s bravery that years later she found herself delving back in time, determined to uncover the untold stories of enslaved African women, just like Harriet, who fought their oppressors on slave ships, in plantations and across the Americas.
How much fighting was she doing before freedom at the age of five?