“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again.”
- Sojourner Truth (1851)
“Ain't I a Woman?”
Sojourner Truth was born a slave. After suffering years of abuse at the hands of several different owners, she gained her freedom on July 4, 1827. For the rest of her life, she worked tirelessly to end slavery, to help the many freed blacks who were suffering and to advance women's rights.
Sojourner traveled constantly, powerfully speaking and singing at meetings all over the Northeast and Midwest, often with Frederick Douglass. In 1850, she published an account of her life, Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Her last campaign was fought to secure land in Kansas and Missouri for freed slaves who were living in misery on the East coast. She died in 1883 and was buried in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Sojourner's best-known speech, entitled “Ain't I a Woman?” was given in Akron, Ohio in 1851 at the Women's Rights Convention. Although no formal record exists, her speech made a great impact at the convention and has endured as a classic expression of woman's rights. Her devotion to the rights of women and oppressed people was the reason this ministry was named after her. She continues to inspire all who enter Sojourner Truth House.
On April 28, 2009, Speaker Pelosi and Members of Congress were joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to unveil a bust by sculptor Artis Lane of Sojourner Truth. The bust is the first sculpture to honor an African American woman in the US Capitol and was donated by the National Congress of Black Women. Learn more about the unveiling.
For more information about Sojourner Truth, please visit her Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojourner_Truth or the Library of Congress website at http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/truth.