Isabella Baumfree was born into slavery in the late 18th century. Despite this, she’d go on to prove that enslavement was only a state of mind. She escaped slavery and landed in New York, where she changed her name to Sojourner Truth. With such a poignant name, she was committed to A name ever so poignant, Truth committed to eradicating racial and gender injustice.
Although she never learned how to read nor write, she leaned on her own insight and intellect to draw crowds near and far. She became known as an equal rights activist, publishing her own book and hosting events, where her speeches — such as “Ain’t I A Woman?” — would go down as literary masterpieces.
Her commitment to ending slavery and ensuring women had equal rights is why she is a feminist icon, and today we celebrate her in this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So.
Hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Farah Griffin and Brittney Cooper — we rejoice in the legacy of Sojourner Truth, a freedom fighter, truth teller, and a woman who fought for equality for all.
Archival Materials Courtesy of:
Library of Congress
Additional Archival by:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Robert F. Smith
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.
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