Sojourner Truth is a Godly woman with a powerful lesson for us today. She was born Isabella Baumfree as a slave in 1797 in a primarily Dutch community in Ulster CountyNew York. She spoke only Dutch till nine or ten years of age when she was sold to an English speaking master, however she always spoke with a distinctly Dutch accent.
On July 4, 1827 the state of New York was beginning the emancipation of all slaves. The slave owner who was holding Isabella (Sojourner) in the years prior to this, offered her freedom a year early if she would serve “well”. When he reneged on his promise she was furious. She completed the work she was doing (spinning 100 pounds of wool) then escaped before dawn with her infant daughter, Sophia. She later stated
“I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.”
In the years that followed she had a deeply religious experience and sensed a call to become an itinerate preacher. Read more of her story here. At this time she also changed her name to “Sojourner Truth” noting that it was the spirit that led her as a sojourner proclaiming the truth from place to place.
Sojourner became engaged in the abolitionist movement with Fredrick Douglas and many others, Sojourner even had occasion to meet with President Lincoln. Her memiors “The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave” was published privately by William Lloyd Garrison in 1850. She went on to be very involved as well in the Women’s Rights Movement. In 1854 she gave a speach in Akron Ohio entitled “Ain’t I a Woman”
- “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.”
Sojourner Truth shows us a powerful lesson from HisStory
To know GOD and to KNOW SELF is Peace & Power
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Epistle of Timothy
What is inspirational to you in the life of Sojourner Truth?