Polaris, the North Star, is so named because it always points toward true north. Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman used the North Star to liberate herself—then went South over and over again, using it to liberate both family and strangers.
I cannot imagine a more noble use of astronomical knowledge than to liberate people from the violent horror of chattel slavery. There is a great cosmos beyond the horrors of slavery and its wake. We have always been a part of it, and it has always been a part of us.
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