Why Is Sojourner Truth Important

What is the significance of Sojourner Truth?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sojourner Truth is significant because of her work against slavery.  Truth was born a slave around 1797 in New York state.  Her birth name was Isabella Baumfree.  She chose the name "Sojourner Truth" for herself later on in her life.

Truth became free because she was living in New York when the state outlawed slavery.  After she became free, she became a lecturer, giving speeches about what it was like to be a slave.  She gave lectures in 21 states and in the District of Columbia.  Her most famous speech is now known as "Ain't I a Woman."  This speech was given in 1851 at a women's rights meeting in Ohio.

Overall, then, Sojourner Truth is significant as an advocate of abolition.  She is the most famous black female abolitionist speaker.

krcavnar | Student

Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and crusader for women's rights.  Born a slave in New York in 1799 she later ran away when her master refused to free her.  She began traveling and preaching at camp meetings in 1843 and began addressing antislavery and woman's rights.  She became known as a very strong speaker and was challenged by a male minister that women should not have equal rights because Christ was a man. She later gave her famous "Ain't i a Woman" speech at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in 1851:

"That man over there say that woman needs to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches..Nobody ever helps me into carriages or over mud-puddles... ain't I a woman?... I have ploughed and planted and gathered into barns...and bear the lash as well ! And ain't I a woman?...Then that little man in black there, he say women can't have as much rights as men 'cause Christ wasn't a woman!...Where did your Christ come from?..From God and a woman!  Man had nothin' to do with it."

During the Civil War she worked as a nurse.  At the end of the war she worked in Virginia to help poor former slaves find work.  She unsuccessfully petitioned the Congress in 1870 to grant western land for ex-slaves.  In her later years she spoke about abolition, woman's rights, prison reform and against capital punishment.  She dictated her autobiography which was published in 1850 The Narrative of Sojourner Truth.