History Month I’m Grateful for Sojourner Truth
"The Spirit calls
me, and I must go."
Sojourner Truth is rightfully revered as an American hero.
Truth was born into slavery but never allowed that condition to determine her
self-worth. Even before she joined the abolitionist movement, Truth was a
pioneer. She was one of the earliest Black American women to win a lawsuit
against a White man when she successfully sued to have one of her children
freed from slavery and returned to her.
Having lived as a northern slave, Truth had a very different
set of circumstances than most southern slaves and dictated an autobiography attesting
to her experiences. Soon after, she began traveling the country as a speaker,
advocating for the abolition of slavery and the expansion of rights for women.
Her most famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman”, beautifully articulated the
intersection of gender and racial oppression she suffered.
For many northerners, Truth helped make the horrors of
slavery real for the first time. Combined with other speakers like Frederick
Douglass and books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Truth helped sow the seeds for
northern support for the Civil War. She even assisted the war effort by recruiting
Black men for the Union Army.
Sojourner Truth spent decades of her life fighting against
injustice and fighting for opportunity. She succeeded in changing her life, her
circumstances and her world.
Today I am grateful for Sojourner Truth. You should be too.