It’s still International Women’s Month. Here’s another important woman. Sojourner Truth, an American abolitionist, and women’s rights activist was born Isabella Baumfree, a slave in Dutch-speaking Ulster County, New York in 1797. She was bought and sold four times and subjected to harsh physical labor and violent punishments. In her teens, she was united with another slave with whom she had five children. In 1827—a year before New York’s law freeing slaves was to take effect—Truth ran away with her infant Sophia to a nearby abolitionist family. The family bought her freedom for twenty dollars and helped Truth successfully sue for the return of her five-year-old-son Peter, who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama. After going to court to recover her son in 1828, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man.
Truth moved to New York City in 1828, where she worked for a local minister. By the early 1830s, she participated in religious revivals and became a charismatic speaker. In 1843, she declared that the Spirit called on her to preach the truth, renaming herself Sojourner Truth. She became an outspoken advocate for abolition, temperance, and civil and women’s rights in the nineteenth century. Her Civil War work earned her an invitation to meet President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. She never learned to read or write. In 1850, she dictated what would become her autobiography— The Narrative of Sojourner Truth —to Olive Gilbert, who assisted in its publication. Truth survived on sales of the book, which also brought her national recognition.
In 1851, Truth began a lecture tour where she delivered her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech. In it, she challenged prevailing notions of racial and gender inferiority and inequality by reminding listeners of her combined strength (Truth was nearly six feet tall) and female status. In the mid-1860s, when a streetcar conductor tried to violently block her from riding, she ensured his arrest and won her subsequent case. She died in 1883, in Battle Creek, Michigan.
This came from the National Women’s History Museum Edited by Debra Michals, PhD 2015 Check it out if you want more details about Sojourner.