Did Black Bounty Hunters and Slave Catchers Really Exist?

Harriet Tubman

In the film Harriet about the heroic life and accomplishment of Harriet Tubman, there is a controversial scene showing a Black bounty hunter that is hunting slaves. Many people who viewed the film were disappointed with this scene, and have raised the question of whether or not Black bounty hunters also known as "trackers" or "slave catchers" really existed. Well, the answer to that question is "yes".
Historian Kate Clifford Larson confirms that they were not a lot of them, but there were a few Black bounty hunters who would often work together with white bounty hunters to catch runaway slaves.

But why would they do that?

Well, the answer is simple. Although it was a very disgraceful thing to do, it was also very profitable. "For some free blacks, the money wasn’t easy to resist," Larson told USA Today.

She added, "You could buy a farm for $400 and feed your family and live a good enough life. All you’d have to do was go out and capture one or two runaway slaves and you were set. They were very uncommon but they did exist, and it was a problem for the community.”

The concept isn't too far-fetched. Historians have also confirmed that there also existed Black slave owners in the South. Again, they were very few in numbers, but they did exist and it probably had to do with how much money they were earning by doing so.