Testimonials

“Joyce Stokes Jones and her daughter Michele Jones Galvin were kind enough to invite me into their home when I was performing in Syracuse Stage’s one-woman show about Harriet Tubman. The anecdotes they offered gave me incredible insight and new facts and allowed me to share that new found knowledge with my audiences. There is so much more to Harriet Tubman than simply the Underground Railroad and Michele and Joyce have years of research and family records to convey just that. The idea that Beyond the Underground will finally allow me access to untold stories from the work of relatives themselves is truly exciting! Moreover, I feel this is an opportunity for me to gain a deeper education on my African American heritage, American history and ultimately myself. Harriet Tubman is an icon to me; one of the bravest humanitarians and all of her life should be available to the public. I can’t wait to read it!”

- Ashleigh Awusie, Actress / Songwriter, www.americansongspace.com/Awusie

“The thought of hearing your Aunt Harriet’s story from a family perspective stirs my interest. I believe that many people would like to have a more in depth and informal view of a person as courageous and driven as she was. I believe that she had no interest in creating a legacy or that she had any inkling of how her desire to lead many people to freedom would become such a valuable part of American history. This is a perfect time to give America another view of the life of a true American hero. On Friday, February 25, 2011, Bethany Baptist Church will be presenting the third Harriet Tubman Spirit Award. The first award was presented to you and your mother in 2009.”

- Pastor Phil M. Turner

“I had the privilege of meeting with Michele Galvin to learn more about her Great Great Grandfather, Thomas Elliott.  Her discoveries with the NYS Archives have offered a missing piece of history that needs even further research.  By the time the family learned the whereabouts and gravesite of their dearly departed relative, they also knew of some of his heroic and powerful actions as one of the Dover Eight who escaped the clutches of slavery and eventually returned to the US after the Civil War and lived as a free man in Auburn.  While Mr. Elliot may have received a mental illness diagnosis, his story and the WHOLE story of Harriet Tubman and her family needs to be shared with the world.  Understanding more of the story helps us to assure that history is not repeated and in fact that more humane and progressive opportunities are offered to people who experience the challenges of life.”

- Carole Hayes Collier, Director of Community Based Peer Initiatives and Psychiatric Activist

“With great pleasure, I look forward to reading Beyond the Underground with you and your mother, Joyce Stokes Jones, as authors.  To know that you, your family, and the Bricklers are descendants of a great woman like Harriet Tubman is an honor.  Please send me more details as to how I can purchase the book.  Upon purchase, I would like to have you and your mother’s autograph in the book for me.”

- Sheila Rose & family, Kennesaw, GA

“The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum and the Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark in Peterboro await your labor of love with respect.  Upon publication, our heritage organizations would like to arrange programs and book-signings with you.

- Dorothy H. Willsey, President, Cabinet of Freedom for the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”  These words spoken by Ms. Tubman must have encouraged the authors to continually move forward to complete their dreams of sharing the story of their family with the world.  I know the authors personally and I’m sure this was not an easy adventure for them; although ultimately rewarding, there were times of great pain and sacrifice for them and their family as they learned more of their heritage, as well as the price Harriet Tubman paid for her freedom and the freedom of many others.  Aunt Harriet’s story belongs to all of us whose life or history was ever touched by slavery.”

- Carole Cannon, Public Program Supervisor, City of Syracuse

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