Action of the Day - Learn about Sojourner Truth
Time & Location
About the Event
Just One Thing honors Sojourner Truth due to her tireless work as an author, abolitionist, suffragette and hero. Read below to learn more about her. Today, her power lives on. Today, we say her name.
Read this short summary from Suffragist Memorial:
Born Isabella (later Van Wagener), a slave in upstate New York, she was the first known African American suffragist. An illiterate, itinerant preacher and reformer from Ulster County, New York, she was an emancipated slave who supported herself with menial jobs. She traveled throughout the eastern United States and attended woman’s rights conventions as an outspoken proponent for woman’s rights and woman suffrage. Her overwhelming presence, personal magnetism, and unique oratorical style captivated audiences and won even skeptics to the cause. She also earned money by selling the Narrative of Sojourner Truth, written for her by Olive Gilbert. In 1852-53, she spent several days with Harriet Beecher Stowe, who called her “The Lybian Sibyl,” who spread Truth’s fame in an Atlantic Monthly article in 1863. She was said to have delivered a powerful speech in favor of woman’s rights at the Akron, Ohio woman’s convention in 1851, remembered as “Ain’t I a Woman?” a speech which some historians today question because it is written in Southern slave dialect, while Truth had the speech of one raised in Dutch-speaking New York. This speech secured her reputation as a famous champion of the woman’s rights cause. In 1864, she traveled to Washington D. C. where she was received by President Lincoln in the White House. In December of that year, the National Freedman’s Relief Association appointed her “counselor to the freed people” at Freedman’s Village, Arlington Heights, VA. Truth also attended meetings of the American Equal Rights Association where she called for the vote for both Black men and for women. In the mid-1850s, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where she lived among an enclave for free Blacks. In 1875, Truth returned to Battle Creek , amid forays of lecturing, where she died in 1883
Click here to watch this compelling TedEx Video about Sojourner Truth.