Looking Black In 1797, Abolitionist And Orator, Sojourner Truth Was Born

0 Posted by - November 18, 2015 - BLACK WOMEN, Holidays And Birthdays, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today, SLAVERY

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 , Truth embraced evangelical religion and became involved in moral reform and abolitionist work. She collected supplies for regiments during the Civil War and immersed herself in advocating for freedpeople 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, Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1883) 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, of her challenge to Frederick Douglass on the issue of violence against slavery (“Frederick! Is God dead?”), and of her baring her breasts before a crude audience who had challenged her womanhood grace the pages of abolitionist lore.

I am not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.
[bctt tweet=” If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.”]
Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff.

Truth was six feet tall, blessed with a powerful voice (she spoke English with a Dutch accent), and driven by deep religious conviction. Harriet Beecher Stowe attested to Truth’s personal magnetism, saying that she had never “been conversant with anyone who had more of that silent and subtle power which we call personal presence than this woman.” Truth was born of slave parents owned by a wealthy Dutch patroon in Ulster County, New York. Details of her early life remain cloudy. What is clear is that her name was Isabella and she served a household in New Paltz, New York, from 1810 to 1827, where she bore some five children by a fellow slave. At least two of her daughters and one son were sold away from her during these years.

Isabella escaped slavery in 1827, one year before mandatory emancipation in New York State, by fleeing to a Quaker family, the Van Wageners, whose name she took. She moved to New York City, worked as a domestic, became involved in moral reform, embraced evangelical religion, started her street-corner preaching career, and eventually joined a utopian community in Sing Sing, New York. Illiterate and a mystic, Isabella nevertheless acquired a wide knowledge of the Bible and emerged in the 1840s in Massachusetts, working among the Garrisonian abolitionists. A popular platform figure, she told stories and sang gospel songs that instructed and entertained. Adopting the name “Sojourner Truth” in 1843, she became a wandering orator. In the mid-1850s she settled in Battle Creek, Michigan, her base of operations for the rest of her life.

 

Read more of the original story history.com — http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/sojourner-truth

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