Monday, 7 April 2008

Sojourner Truth

So I realised the other day that I'd basically stopped doing profiles on women who amaze and inspire me, and so I decided to go back and do some more. Maybe I'll even make it a Monday Feature. It would be fun to have features! So, in the name of remembering the forgotten women who change the world for Jesus, so far we have:
- Catherine Booth
- Elizabeth Fry
- Dorothy Day

And today we have Sojourner Truth. Most of the information here is taken from the ever reliable Wikepedia (I'm such a scholar!), so please forgive any innacuracies.

Sojourner was born into slavery in 1797 as Isabella Baumfree and was a famous abolitinist and women's rights activist. In 1806 she was sold to her second master, a very cruel man who beat her and her raped her. She was sold several times, her fourth owner forbade her from marrying a slave from a neighbouring farm that she loved and a number of years later forced her to marry another slave with whom she had five children.

In 1826 Truth and her baby daughter escaped and were taken in by a Quaker family until the New York Emancipation Act made her free. While staying with these Quakers Truth had a religious conversion and some time later changed her name to Sojourner Truth.

In 1844 she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry which supported women's rights and pacifism among other causes. She wrote a book called 'the Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A northern slave', which documented her life in Slavery.

In 1851 she went to the Ohio Women's rights conference where she delivered her famous 'Ain't I am woman' speach, including the lines:

"Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

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 is asking to do it, the men better let them."

Much of the rest of her life was spent speaking at various meetings as a suffrage and abolitiionist.

In November 1883 Truth died in Michigan, having lived a life devoted to freedom for slaves and for women among many others.

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