A Month of Awesome Women: Sojourner Truth

BlogHer Original Post

A Month of Awesome WomenEvery day in March 2011, we'll be talking about one awesome woman and why she's so powerful. Some will be well known; some may be new to you, so check out all the awesome women in the series now.


It seems only fitting to kick off BlogHer's Month of Awesome Women with Sojourner Truth, a woman whose life befitted her chosen name, and who continues to inspire BlogHers to write about what they learned from her story.

Contributing Editor Mata describes her legacy:

From that timeline, I learned that she was tireless in her campaigns for human rights until her death. She not only also campaigned for a woman's right to vote, she was the first woman to vote in a Michigan state election. She advocated for land grants in the West for former slaves. She spoke against capital punishment. She was pro-temperance.

Sojourner Truth© BuyEnlarge/ZUMAPRESS.com

Contributing Editor Kim Pearson wrote of her life and times:

The American Revolution set the effort to create a democracy in motion, but it was the Civil War of 1861-65 that responded to the critical contradiction at the heart of that Revolution: the idea that a state founded on the principle of equality could countenance the notion of one human being owning another.

Kim ended her post with the iconic "Ain't I A Woman Speech" by Sojourner Truth, delivered in April, 1851 at the Women's Rights Conference in Akron, Ohio.

Sojourner Truth said, "Ain't I a woman?" and Tamara Winfrey Harris responded:

I am a woman. And if I may, for a moment, speak directly to my fellow female African Americans: We are women. We deserve better, must expect better, must demand better, must fight for better. We must respect ourselves and refuse to be objectified and marginalized. We must say no to media exploitation and neglect.

Liesl Garner writes of that speech:

Reading it today, nearly a hundred and sixty years later, I can barely remain in my chair. I want to get up and cheer my approval. I want to dance and stomp my feet and cry big, real tears because she is so right and so right on and so amazingly clear and brilliant and true.

Why is she important still today? As Clara Freeman writes so eloquently:

One young 22 year old African-American woman thanked me profusely for posting the speech. She said it reminded her of her own truth in regards to who she is as a woman and her right to be treated with respect and dignity.

Have you ever written about or been inspired by Sojourner Truth?


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