Who is Sojourner Truth?

Sojourner Truth carte de visite

Sojourner Truth carte de visite,1864, photograph, Courtesy of ZSR Library.

Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist and women’s rights activist, who is best known for her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” during the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. The speech addressed the racial inequalities in the women’s rights movement. Truth was born into slavery as Isabella Baumfree and sold several times, even once as a 9-year-old with a flock of sheep for $100 at auction. She later escaped with her infant daughter in 1826 and changed her name to Sojourner Truth in 1843. Truth began her social justice efforts with abolition before fighting for other reforms such as prison reform, property rights, and universal suffrage.

“There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see, the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before.”

Sources: How Early Photographs Reveal the Indomitable Spirit of Abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Sojourner Truth.”