I gracefully embrace a heroic quote in life that includes her words and her image: “That man over there says women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And arn’t I a woman? ” Her name was Sojourner Truth. A brilliant but illiterate women, whose presence astonished great courage and leadership. A faithful abolitionist and defender, Sojourner Truth, gradually inspired women’s history showing dedication for fighting for rights for women, for citizens of color and antislavery.
Sojourner Truth’s given name was first Isabella. She was born into slavery in New York’s Dutch-speaking Hudson River Valley. As a child, Isabella was raised upon her mother’s African religion and learned Christianity from the white mistresses in the household. At twelve years old, she was sold away and had three owners within a year: an Englishman who’d beat her for not speaking English; a kind but uneducated lowerclass Dutch farmer; and finally a wealthy farmer, John Dumont. Truth lived a better part of three decades in slavery.
In 1828, New York State was passed on antislavery law as Truth then moved to New York City, where she joined an African Methodist Church, called Zion’s. In the winter of 1828, Truth also experienced, manifested and unbelievably gained repossession of her young son, Peter. Peter was very young and was illegally sold into slavery in the South. Truth fought in court for Peter’s successful release never once giving up and fighting for justice. As a brilliant but illiterate women, it is remarkable how Sojourner challenged the court of law and out win a White man.
Sojourner Truth reached American History, introducing her as the first black women to ever win a court case. As the story goes, Antislavery was generally unpopular in Ohio. Ohio’s small white liberal element included abolitionist, Underground Railroad Works, and Racial Women’s Rights Activist. Although, Ohio’s first constitution, in 1802, had abolished slavery, beginning in 1804 the state passed “Black Laws. ” that denied to blacks all civil and educational rights. Women were the first to campaign for the vote, joining black in a bid for a universal suffrage amendment to the new state constitution.
Their failure led to the convening of the 1850 national woman’s convention in Worcester, followed by the 1851 regional meeting in Akron. Sojourner Truth heard of the Women’s Rights convention, and deeply interested in women’s rights, she knew she had to attend the convention. Sojourner gave a well-known speech, Antislavery Bugle, at the Woman’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, in May 1851. Moreover, she was a colleague of many the abolitionist leaders of her days meeting Susan B Anthony, Fredrick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and she even met Abraham Lincoln.
President Frances Gage, and the convention secretary, Hanna Cutler, saw Truth, a tall black women, walking back and forth, carrying a basket of books. Walking right past her, the two antislavery white women were embarrassed by the presence of a black women, and ignored Sojourner. Following them, she introduced herself as Sojourner Truth and further explained her abolitionist mission. Gage and Cutler bought a copy of Sojourner Truth’s Narrative and assumed that was the end of her business at the convention.
At the convention women had access to only one church, the Universalist, and only one hotel in the city was willing to rent rooms to the delegates. The convention was also divided ideologically. The disagreement among the convention and the women on the platform created worry, while some males interrupt them and shouted in disapproval. Sojourner Truth sat on the steps leading to the platform, fanning herself with her sunbonnet, watching everything and occasionally speaking in on the three-way battle.
Between modest women, and between the sexes, one man told he women to go home to their husbands and children because Jesus and all of his supporters were men. From her position near the platform, Sojourner shouted that the men claim all for themselves. As the exchanges heated, Sojourner Truth came forward to the platform and addressed the President with great simplicity: “May I say a few words? ” receiving an affirmative head nod, she proceeded. “I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man.
I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am strong as any man that is now. ” (The History of Woman Suffrage, p. 116). Sojourner stood up with scorching anticipation to opponents and threating crowds who tried to stop her from speaking. When taunted while speaking in favor of women’s rights by an aggressive white man who asked if she was really a women, she bared her breasts and famously smirked, “Ain’t I a woman? ” “Look at me!
Look at my arm! I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And arn’t I woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man—when I could get it—and bear the lash as well! And arn’t I a woman? ” Sojourner Truth, made a speech implied with the catchphrase, “Ain’t I a Woman? ” which was one of her most unique and arguably the most famous speech of the 19th Century. Elizabeth C. Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 1 (Rochester, N. Y. : Charles Mann, 1887), p. 116, http://www. blackpast. org/1851-sojournertruth-arnt-i-woman
It’s all too incredible to transfer onto paper, or portray any adequate idea of the effect it had upon the audience. But those who saw her powerful form, her strong and truthful tones, were left mesmerized. Moments after, there was much debate about what she said and how she said it. Frances Dana Gage, who was present at the 1851 Convention, published a longer version of the speech. It was printed in the Anti-Slavery Standard May 2, 1863 and in The History of Woman Suffrage, volume 1. Even though Truth wasn’t raised to read and write, she quickly became more well-known and much respected.
Truth gained fame for movingly and powerfully influence women’s rights issues, her Akron speech brought many converts to the Christian Faith. She got to work among the poor and was briefly ensnarled in a religious cult. During all the years of her life, Truth continued honoring her speaking skills and spiritual knowledge. Thousands and thousands of women across the globe have continuously sacrificed for a better world. Women have always stepped forward to accept the challenge in a moral moment presents as contributes and implementers of change.
History is full of women who have congregated the courage to persist for justice. If Sojourner Truth were alive today, it’ll be certain she would be standing before crowds of people roaring about the injustice and inequality still challenging for Women’s Rights Protest in America. And certain she would be standing with the Children’s Defense Fund and with the Black Community Crusade for Children. As I and many others believe that children deserve equality in education and opportunity in their country. In this global economy, no nation can remain strong without a welleducated, top quality workforce surrounding it.