Having lived most her life in slavery, Sojourner Truth spoke fiercely for abolition and suffrage at the Women's Rights Convention in 1851 in Akron, Ohio. In her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech, Sojourner makes a compelling point to the strength of women's character to some of the dissenting male audience members. As her speech grew in fame, it became a rallying cry for both the abolitionist and suffrage movement.
Here are some important related events that would relate to Sojourner's speech and the Abolition and Suffrage movements in the United States:
- Seneca Falls Convention--1848, Organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Women attending the Seneca Falls Convention debated and signed the Declaration of Sentiments, written by Stanton which she modeled after the Declaration of Independence. Women agreed at the convention to include women's right to vote in their Declaration.
- Thirteenth Amendment-- 1865, Outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude.
- Fourteenth Amendment-- 1868, Gave citizenship and protection under the law to African American men. Sadly, women were excluded from the "Equal Protection Clause" which basically reinforced "all men are created equal" idea.
- Fifteenth Amendment-- 1870, Prohibits the government from denying the right to vote to a citizen based on race or past history of servitude. This amendment did not include women being allowed to vote. Although some well-known suffragists were against showing support for this amendment because it excluded women, many suffragists felt that the bill was a step in the right direction and threw their support behind it.
- 19th Amendment--Ratified in 1920, the nineteenth amendment guaranteed the right to vote for American women.