Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was a legendary woman for her time. She was born into slavery and watched her children sold into slavery. She eventually made it to freedom and settled in New York City in 1846. Truth spoke against injustice. She traveled throughout the Midwest as a preacher. As an illiterate ex-slave she was a powerful figure in several national social movements speaking forcefully for the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and suffrage, the rights of freedmen, temperance,   prison reform , and the termination of capital punishment (source A). Sojourner made an impact on the lives of those she encountered. She was respected for her thoughts and views. She raised awareness about human rights and equality for blacks and woman. Her most famous speech “Ain't I a Woman”, was made in Akron, Ohio. She states, “ I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women of the North , all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix soon. But what’s all this here talk about it?” (source B) She is telling people stop talking about making these changes and get up and do something to make it happen. She goes on to discuss the importance of herself being a woman. She can work just as hard as a man. God made a woman and she was strong enough to create change in the world and women today can do it again. The men just have to give them the chance to do it.   Sojourner Truth was a strong woman. She fought for what she believed in. A painting by James Watkins, shown below, depicts her famous speech and includes the names of people who fought for the cause of civil justice and freedom (source C). This painting shows the support Truth received and the influence that she had on other historical leaders. Truth’s journey, her words, and attitudes continue to empower, inspire and motivate people today.