Who was Sojourner Truth; Parents, Children, Ain’t I A Woman, Quotes, Google Doodle


Sojourner Truth Biography/ Who is Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth (birth name; Isabella Baumfree) was an African -American abolitionist and women’s rights activist born in 1797 in Rifton, NY. She died on 26th November 1883 in Battle Creek, MI. She is known for her speech ‘Ain’t I A woman’ on racial inequalities. She is one of the 100 Most Significant Americans according to Smithsonian. She was born into slavery and was sold again and again. Her children were also stolen from her and sold.

Truth was sold and bought several times in her young and witness the same for her sisters and brothers. She was sold for the first time at the age of 9. She was an auction with a flock of sheep for $100 to John Neely. She described her buyer, Neely, as cruel and beat her regularly. At the age of 11, she was sold again for $105. The following year she was sold again.

In 2009 a bust of Truth was unveiled in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. The US Treasury announced that Truth will be included on the new $10 bill, along with other suffragists. The bill is expected to be revealed on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, in 2020.


Sojourner Truth Picture
Sojourner Truth Picture

Sojourner Truth Family/ Who were Sojourner Truth Parents

Truth was born to James and Elizabeth Baumefree, one of 10 children in the family of slaves in Swartkill, Ulster County in upstate New York. Her family was owned by a Dutch slaveowner named Hardenbergh.

Sojourner Truth  Husband

In 1815 Truth fell in love with a slave, although the romance was forbidden by Robert’s owner although at the time they already had a daughter, Diana. Truth and Robert never saw each other since any children produced would be Robert’s owned slaves.

Truth was forced to marry Thomas, an older slave, and their marriage produced a son, Peter, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia.

Sojourner Truth Children

Truth had five children although her firstborn died when still young: Diana (1815), the result of a rape by either Robert or John Dumont, and Peter (1821), Elizabeth (1825), and Sophia (ca. 1826)

Sojourner Truth Slavery

Truth was born in slavery and was sold and bought severally. In 1799, New York passed a Gradual Emancipation act that freed slave children born after July 4, 1799, but indentured them until they were young adults. In 1817 a new law passed that would free slaves born before 1799 but not until 1827.

In 1827 Truth escaped with her then months old baby- Sophia- to the safety of abolitionists Isaac and Maria Van Wagenen who purchased her freedom for $20. Truth with the help of abolitionists sued a white slave owner who had illegally sold her son Peter, 5, into slavery in Alabama. Truth made history as the first black woman who successfully sued white people after she won the case.

Why did Sojourner Truth Change her name

Sojourner changed her name from Isabella on 1st June 1843 devoting her life to Methodism and the abolition of slavery. She joined the Northampton Association of Education and Industry in Northanmpton, Massachusetts in 1844.

How did Sojourner Escape

After she changed her name and began working with whites and blacks all over the country to abolish slavery. In 1857 she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan and soon became active there helping blacks escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Sojourner Truth  Abolitionist

In 1828 Truth moved to New York City where she worked for a preacher. She was called to do the same; preach the truth. She changed her name from Isabella ‘Belle” Baumfree to Sojourner Truth.

In 1850 Truth spoke her truth, as she never learned how to read or write, Her story ‘The Narrative of Sojourner Truth’. Truth became a women’s rights activist advocating for racial and gender equality.

Truth recruited black men to serve in the Union Army during the civil war. She even attempted to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves, the so-called Forty acres and a mule promise. She was however unsuccessful but was successful in resettling freed slaves and thereby settling Battle Creek Michigan

Ain’t I A Woman/ Sojourner Truth Speech

Ain’t I A Woman is Truth’s Speech which was first published in 1863 by Frances Gage, 2 years after it was first delivered. In 1851 the speech was delivered at the Women’s Rights Convention. The speech was delivered in the Anti-Slavery Bugle by Rev. Marius Robinson although it does not include the specific title phrase ‘Ain’t I a Woman.’

” Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes 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 negroes’ 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.”

Sojourner Truth Quotes

  1. The rich rob the poor, and the poor rob one another.
  2. Truth is powerful and it prevails.
  3. It is the mind that makes the body.
  4. If women want any rights more than they’s got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.
  5. I am not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.
  6. Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff.

When Did Sojourner Truth Die

Truth died on November 26, 1883, at her home in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Sojourner Truth Grave/ Where was Sojourner Truth buried

Oak Hill Cemetry, Battle Creek, MI

Where was Sojourner Truth born

Rifton, NY

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