The Black Man Enslaved & Freed|
Graphic-Lee Speaking is proud to present our: TRIBUTE TO BLACK HISTORY
Booker T. Washington
George W. Carver
Martin Robinson Delany
Mary MacLeod Bethune
Whitney M. Young Jr.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Zora Neale Hurston
E. Franklin Frazier
James L. Hughes
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Dr. Charles Watts
Askia The Great
Sleeping Car Porter
Carter G. Woodson
Madam C.J. Walker
Charles H. Houston
Buion S. Bluford Jr.
The Stono Rebellion
Mae C. Jemison
Andrew Jackson Beard
A. Alphonso Alexander
R. Arliner Young
David Crosthwait Jr.
Dr. Daniel Williams
Dr. Aprille Jackson
Sojourner Truth Continued
The Spirit Calls Me
On June 1, 1843, Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth and told friends, "The Spirit calls me, and I must go." She left to make her way traveling and preaching about abolition. In 1844, she joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Massachusetts. Founded by abolitionists, they supported women's right, religious tolerance, and they were pacifists. There were 210 members and they lived on 500 acres, raising livestock, running a sawmill, a gristmill, and a silk factory. While there, Sojourner Truth met William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, and David Ruggles (an African-American Printer). In 1846, the group disbanded, unable to support itself. In 1847, she went to work for George Benson as a housekeeper. He was the brother-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison. In 1849, Sojourner visited her former owner, John Dumont, before he moved west.
She started dictating her memoirs to her friend, Olive Gilbert, and in 1850, William Lloyd Garrison privately published her book, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave. That same year she purchased a home in Northampton for $300.
In 1851 she left Northampton to join George Thompson, an abolitionist and speaker. In May she attended the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio where she delivered her famous speech. Ain't I a Woman, a slogan she adopted from one of the most famous abolitionist images, that of a kneeling female slave with the caption "Am I Not a Woman and a Sister".
Reminiscences by Frances D. Gage Akron Convention, Akron, Ohio, May 1851
"There were very few women in those days who dared to "speak in meeting"; and the august teachers of the people were seemingly getting the better of us, while the boys in the galleries, and the sneerers among the pews, were hugely enjoying the discomfiture, as they supposed, of the "strong-minded." Some of the tender-skinned friends were on the point of losing dignity, and the atmosphere betokened a storm. When, slowly from her seat in the corner rose Sojourner Truth, who, till now, had scarcely lifted her head. "Don't let her speak!" gasped half a dozen in my ear. She moved slowly and solemnly to the front, laid her old bonnet at her feet, and turned her great speaking eyes to me. There was a hissing sound of disapprobation above and below. I rose and announced "Sojourner Truth," and begged the audience to keep silence for a few moments."
"The tumult subsided at once, and every eye was fixed on this almost Amazon form, which stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush. She spoke in deep tones, which, though not loud, reached every ear in the house, and away through the throng at the doors and windows."
From 1851 to 1853, she worked with Marius Robinson, the editor of the Ohio Anti-Slavery Bugle, travelling around the state speaking. In 1853, she spoke at a suffragist "mob convention" at the Broadway Tabernacle in New York City and she met Harriet Beecher Stowe. In 1856, Sojourner traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, to speak to Friends of Human Progress arranged by a Michigan Quaker Henry Willis. And in 1858, someone accused her of being a man while she was speaking in Indiana, so she opened her blouse and revealed her breasts.
"Ain't I a Woman?"
Sojourner Truth gave her famous speech (alternatively known as Ar'n't I a Woman?) in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.
(The speech has been revised from the 19th century dialect style it is often recorded in and several different versions exist.) “ Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negros of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about? That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? member of audience whispers, "intellect" That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negros' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
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.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say”
As we acquire information we have found there is an enormous amount of contributions blacks have made to this country (America). In time we will rebuild this portion of our site into categories, so that your search for information can be specific to the time period, pass and present.
It is important for you revisit to learn as much as you can about the black man's plight that play such a big part in America being the country it is today.