Sojourner Truth: The forgotten history of the slave who fought for women’s rights

Sojourner Truth - Image credit
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published: date unknown

Sojourner Truth was a lot of things. She was a slave. A mother. A wife. An activist. A preacher. A woman who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in, regardless of the consequence. A woman who spoke her mind, even when everyone around her disagreed.

Filled with such courage and bravery, she could see the potential of liberty for all, even when faced with adversities far worse than people see today. Sojourner Truth was never a victim of circumstances, even though they were bleak for much of her life. When life knocked her down, she’d get back up, ready to fight again.

She lived by her own standard, even though it was considered radical. She didn’t care. She was here to speak her truth, which she never failed to do. Even her self-given name says as much. Her name, “Sojourner” means to “to stay awhile,” combined with Truth.

To stay awhile in truth. To stand in truth.
Many would say that’s exactly how she spent her life.

Sojourner Truth: From Slavery to Freedom

Sojourner Truth was brought into this world a slave named Isabella Baumfree around 1797. Born on a plantation about 95 miles north of New York City, Belle only spoke Dutch until she was nine years old when she was sold, along with a herd of sheep, for $100. She would be sold two more times by the age of 13, when she found herself owned by John Dumont and his second wife, Elizabeth.

Truth was not treated well as a slave and would recall her owners as cruel and punitive. At 18, she fell in love with a slave boy named Robert, who was owned by a neighbor. When his owner found out the boy was in a relationship with a slave from a different master, he was severely beaten, and Truth never saw him again. It’s believed that her first child, James, may have been Robert’s.

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