Truth blackhistorymonth stories
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mike_mezz Writer, historian and musician
Autoplay OFF   •   2 years ago

Who Was Sojourner Truth?
A Narrative Poem about the amazing true story of Sojourner Truth


In 1797 Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery

Her first owner died when she was nine

She ended up with a violent man named John Neely

Who bought her at a slave auction in 1806

Where she was sold at auction with a flock of sheep

She was sold two more times before she was thirteen

Before being bought by John Dumont for keeps

In 1815 she fell in love with a slave named Robert

They ended up having a baby daughter

But Robert's owner forbid them to see each other

And Isabella never again seen her baby's father

In 1817 "Belle" married an older slave named Thomas

She and her husband had three children together

Dumont said he'd give them freedom but broke the promise

She escaped with her baby daughter Sophia

But had to leave the others as she ran away

Shortly after she escaped in 1826

Belle found out that her son Peter was sold illegally

She went to court and won his release

This was the first time a slave won a court case in history

In 1827 all slaves in New York and Isabella were freed

Belle's early days of freedom were marked by strange hardships

But, Belle , Sophia and her son Peter stayed together until 1835

When Peter took a job on Zone of Nantucket whaling ship

When the whaler returned in 1842 Peter wasn't onboard

Never again would Belle see the son that she adored

On June 1, 1843, Isabella Baumfree

Changed her name to Sojourner Truth

And devoted herself to Methodism and abolishing slavery

She met abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass

Truth's career as an activist and reformer was just beginning

In 1850, she spoke at the first National Women's Rights Convention

Sojourner's momentum and reputation kept on growing

She spoke and large crowds showed up at full attention

She was one of several escaped slaves to keep showing

She stood beside people like Frederick Douglass

Truth spoke of human rights and she kept going

She joined Harriet Tubman and rose to prominence

As an abolitionist and spoke with complete conviction

In May 1851, Truth delivered an improvised speech

In Akron at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention

That would come to be known as "Ain't I a Woman?"

Sojourner never said that exact expression

Here are the words she spoke in The City of Akron

"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." --Sojourner Truth--

Even in most abolitionists opinion

Truth's ideas were considered radical

She sought political equality for all women

She thought after civil rights for black men were gained

Rights for all women would not ever be attained

As gunfire erupted leading into Civil War

She worked to help the Union recruit black troops

Truth met with President Lincoln in 1864

She attempted to desegregate streetcars

By riding in those designated for whites

Almost a hundred years before Rosa Parks

Until old age kept her from the fight

Truth continued to speak passionately

About the the struggle for women's rights

She fought for universal suffrage and prison reform

She was also an outspoken opponent of capital punishment

Truth's accomplishments should be just as renowned

As Douglass, Parks and King's accomplishments.

Sojourner Truth died at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 26, 1883. She is buried alongside her family at Battle Creek's Oak Hill Cemetery.

Black History Walks

Copyright © 2020 Mike Mezz (All rights reserved)

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