Tag: Black History

February 7 Sojourner Truth

 

This Black
History Month I’m Grateful for Sojourner Truth


 

"The Spirit calls
me, and I must go." 

 -Sojourner Truth

 

 

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.

 

 

FDO

 

 

 

February 1 Frederick Douglass

This Black History Month I’m Grateful for Frederick Douglass

 

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

-Frederick Douglass

 

 

The accomplishments of Frederick Douglass are so numerous they seem mythological to many of us today. For a Black person, born a slave in the first half of the 19th century, to have become so accomplished was literally unimaginable until Douglass did it.

 

A few highlights:

Douglass freed himself after illegally learning to read; worked as an abolitionist and suffragist; published The North Star and other newspapers; wrote multiple autobiographies; expanded benefits for Black soldiers in the Civil War; received nominations for Vice-President and President.

His autobiographies captivated the country and, for many Northerners, provided the first clear demonstration that Blacks could be the intellectual equal of Whites. Douglass was the first Black person to garner a truly national reputation, the nearly universal respect of Whites, and to be treated as an equal by an American President.

In fact, I consider Douglass to be the original president of Black America. He was the first person who could be said to have represented the most urgent interests of Blacks to the whole country.
It’s nearly impossible to conceive even now but Frederick Douglass was born as a slave and died as one of the most important people in the world.

 

Today, I am grateful for Frederick Douglass. You should be too.

FDO