Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sojourner Truth - Casey Page

Sojourner Truth
Casey Page
Blog 2

Sojourner Truth (1767-1883)was born in 1797 with the given name of Isabella Baumfree. During that time she was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York. The neat thing about Sojourner was when she was a child she only spoke dutch, because that was all her owners spoke. Eventually she was sold off to another family, unfortunatley was brutalized because she couldn't understand orders due to not speaking english. In 1816 at the third family she work with she got married to another slave named Tom. They had 5 children together, but really never had an attachment to each other. In 1799 New York adopted a law that would gradually abolish slavery away. It wasn't until July 4, 1827 that all slaves in New York were freed. Sojourner Truth's owner was actually going to free them a year earlier, but reneged on his word, saying she still owened him work. In fall 1826 she fled and found shelter with a Quaker family who taught her any education she ever received. She later found out one of her sons was sold illegally to another owner down in Alabama by her previous owner. The Quaker family actually helped her take the situation to court and she won, her son was free. In 1843 she changed her name to Sojouner Truth and started traveling and preaching about abolition and getting into religion.

She started getting into women's rights when she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Massachusetts. In May of 1851 she joined other feminists in Akron, Ohio and gave her infamous speech "Ain't I a Woman." After that throughout the 1850's she continued to deliver speeches about anti-slavery. She also helped newly freed slaves after the civil war. From 1867 till her death she gave speeches about black and women suffrage. On November 2, 1883 she passed away in her home.

I believe some of her major accomplishments were speaking at the Women's Convention in Akron and helping slaves that were newly freed. She would help them get settled and try and get grants through the government to help them get land, so they can be on their own for the first time. She knew she had to keep speaking about slavery and black and women rights or nothing would be done.

The "Ain't I a Woman" speech basically says that us females don't need males to help us. The males at that time believed we needed their help to lift things and help us get out of carriages. In the speech she also touched on the fact that negro/women can be just as smart as males. They can have the same intellect. It all comes down to the fact that women and males are the same. She basically wanted to point out, if it wasn't for females, the males wouldn't be here.

I have only heard of Sojourner Truth when its related to slavery, and all the work she did with slavery. I have never heard of her with the concept of Women's rights. I do believe her works and ideas are stil present today. She wants everybody to be equal and be free and males shouldn't feel superior to women. Women can be theirselves and don't need males.


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