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  • Writer's pictureDaisy Holder

Sojourner Truth, 1797-1883⁣⁣

Sojourner Truth was a women's rights activist and abolitionist, best known for being one of the first Black American women to take a white man to court and win and for her speech "ain't I a woman?"

As a slave, she was beaten and abused constantly, causing long lasting pain and problems. After her last slave owner went back on his promise to free her after a year, claiming her disability made her less productive, she escaped with her baby daughter.

After learning that one of the children she had been forced to leave behind had been sold illegally, she took the slave owner to court. She won, and her son was returned to her, freeing him.

She escaped slavery, recruited Union soldiers in the Civil War, campaigned against slavery, wrote her memoirs and is the first African American woman to have a statue in the Capitol, ⁣⁣

She later said of her escape "I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be alright." Which is just brilliant, she just wandered off.⁣⁣

It's worth noting that her speech "Ain't I a Woman" has a few different versions, and the one that is most commonly attributed to her probably isn't the original, but a version adapted later to the modern tone. This version uses Southern speech patterns, while Sojourner grew up in New York.⁣⁣

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