Sojourner Truth - "Ain't I A Woman? " 

Sojourner Truth was a prominent abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Born a slave in New York State, she had at least three of her children sold away from her. After escaping slavery, Truth embraced evangelical religion and became involved in moral reform and abolitionist work. She collected supplies for Black regiments during the Civil War and immersed herself in advocating for freed people during the Reconstruction period. Truth was a powerful and impassioned speaker whose legacy of feminism and racial equality still resonates today. She is perhaps best known for her stirring “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech, delivered at a women’s convention in Ohio in 1851.

An evangelist, abolitionist, and feminist,  she was born Isabella Baumfree. Sojourner Truth was her self-given name, from 1843 onward.  She is remembered for her unschooled but remarkable voice raised in support of abolitionism, the freedmen, and women’s rights. Tales of her aggressive platform style, for example, of her baring her breasts before a crude audience who had challenged her womanhood, grace the pages of abolitionist lore.

Truth was six feet tall, blessed with a powerful voice (she spoke English with a Dutch accent), and driven by deep religious conviction During the Civil War, Truth tramped the roads of Michigan collecting food and clothing for black regiments. She traveled to Washington, D.C., where she met with Abraham Lincoln at the White House, and immersed herself in relief work for the freed people. During Reconstruction, Truth barely supported herself by selling a narrative of her life as well as her “shadows,” photographs of herself. She lent her unique skills to the women’s suffrage movement and initiated a petition drive to obtain land for the freed people, even suggesting the idea of a “Negro state” in the West. Truth’s most important legacy is the tone and substance of her language. ” She died of old age and ulcerated legs in 1883; her funeral and burial in Battle Creek was the largest that town had ever seen