Black History Month: Sojourner Truth


Originally known as Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth was born in 1797 in New York. She was an African-American Abolitionist and a women’s right activist. She was best known for her racial inequalities speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Truth was born into slavery and lived on an estate in Esopus, New York with her family. After the death of their master, Sojourner and her family were separated. Sojourner was later sold at an auction for $100 to a man named John Neely. Truth had said he was harsh and violent. She was sold two more times and finally resided at West Park, New York. In 1815, Truth fell in love with a slave man by the name of Robert. Together they had a daughter, Diana. Robert’s owner forbade their relationship and they were to never see each other again. Around 1817, Sojourner was to marry an older slave, Thomas. They had two daughters and a son.

In 1827, New York emancipated all slaves on July 4th. Truth’s owner, John Dumont, decided he was not going to emancipate Truth, so she escaped to freedom with her infant daughter.

In her early years of freedom, Sojourner faced many obstacles. She was accused of poisoning a man to benefit from his personal fortune, but was acquitted.

As stated earlier, Truth was an abolitionist. She fought for women’s rights. Her widely known speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron. Sojourner Truth is now remembered as one if the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement.



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