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Oscars nomination for Harriet actress sets local stage for history, change

Cynthia Erivo nominated at Oscars for portrayal of Harriet Tubman

By Gabriel Pietrorazio

On Monday, the Academy announced their nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards and the biopic Harriet earned two nominations.

Actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman as the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

In her category, Erivo competes against Scarlett Johansson for her role as Nicole Barber in Netflix’s Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan’s performance in Little Women as Josephine “Jo” March, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell as well as Renée Zellweger’s portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy, who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress on Sunday, January 5th.

The film’s original song ‘Stand Up,’ which Erivo co-wrote alongside Joshua Brian Campbell was also nominated for an Oscar.

Other nominees for this category included ‘Into the Unknown’ from Frozen 2, Breakthrough’s ‘I’m Standing With You,’ ‘I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away’ from Toy Story 4 as well as this year’s Golden Globe Award winner, ‘I’m Gonna Love Me Again’ from Rocketman, the biopic based on the life of popstar Elton John.

Although Erivo and ‘Standing Up’ were both nominated at the Golden Globes, Harriet was snuffed from walking away with any wins.

Overall Harriet has received 30 nominations from various acting guilds and film critic circles and won awards for half of them.

Harriet, the biographical film based on the life of abolitionist and suffragist Harriet Tubman traces her life’s story from slavery to freedom and her miraculous work as one of the most accomplished conductors on the Underground Railroad who freed 70 enslaved family and friends after traveling to Dorchester County, Maryland on thirteen separate trips.

Tubman, a national icon from the past possesses a rooted history here in the Finger Lakes that was presented throughout the film.

Near the border of Fleming and Auburn resides the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. Founded in 2017, the independent non-profit was established by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to manage and operate Tubman’s former homestead.

As a freed slave, Tubman and her parents settled in Auburn during 1859 where then U.S. Senator William H. Seward offered her property that was eventually paid-off in increments.

Tubman donated her land to the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in 1903 after she was no longer to pay her property taxes.

In 1908, the homestead was renamed as the Harriet Tubman Home for the Elderly and remained open until the 1920s.

Eventually, Tubman became a patient at her own facility until she passed away from pneumonia in 1913 and was later buried at Fort Hill Cemetery.

Talk of the film even reached the state’s capitol in Albany after Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul admitted to seeing the film during a recent press conference in Seneca Falls where she announced that the town was a fourth-round $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative winner.

The Oscars will start live at 8 p.m. Sunday, February 9 on ABC.


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