Sojourner Truth - Biography

Sojourner Truth 1797-1883
Preacher, Abolitionist, Suffragette
Birthplace: Ulster County, NY

As a free woman at age 43, Sojourner Truth left New York and decided to "sojourn" the land and speak the God's "truth." She traveled extensively, speaking about her life as a slave and eventually arriving in Northampton, MA, where she was introduced to the women’s equality movement. Some suffragettes were not receptive to Truth's support because they feared that their cause would get confused with abolition and that the newspapers would not cover their story. Perhaps her greatest achievement was desegregating the streetcars of Washington, DC. When various conductors refused to let her ride, Truth took legal action by reporting them to the president of the City Rail Way who fired them. She went on to become one of the most distinguished and highly respected African-American women in the 19th century.

Related Resources

Lesson Plan
Abolitionists Working Together
This lesson discusses the relationship between different abolitionists, including Sojourner Truth.

Ain't I a Woman
Truth's famous speech.

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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