Sojourner Truth (c. 1797-1893)
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they are asking to do it, the men better let them. - 1851
Sojourner Truth was born into slavery as Isabella Baumfree in Ulster County, New York. In 1827, when her master failed to uphold a promise to free her, she escaped, or as she later declared, “I did not run away, I walked away by daylight.” Truth became a preacher, and choose the name by which she is known today.
Truth became active in the abolition movement, and in the 1850s, in the women’s rights movement as well. She is perhaps best known for her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech delivered to the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention of 1851, which carried the message that African American women’s rights should not be ignored.