Several African American women in history stand out for me including Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Harriet Tubman. As for Harriet, she sure knew how to work nature to survive.
In 1822, Harriet Tubman was born enslaved in Maryland. She escaped to Philadelphia but went back thirteen times to lead other runaways from the grueling existence of plantation life which included planting and chopping tobacco. Harriet led a frightened people–most of whom had not been very far from the farms and plantations–at night and usually in the winter using the North Star to guide her back North. Perhaps Harriet learned the skills of surviving in the woods and other landscapes from Ben, her father, who worked the timber on the plantation. She was also familiar and comfortable with marshes because she checked and emptied muskrat traps.
Harriet Tubman: The Environmental Moses of Her People!
To learn more about Harriet, read Catherine Clinton’s Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom.