What did Sojourner Truth do?


Quick Answer

Sojourner Truth was a woman who was sold into slavery but walked to freedom, where she became a Pentecostal preacher. She also spoke and lectured about abolition and women's rights.

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Full Answer

Sojourner Truth is best known for her speech "Ain't I a Women?" about racial inequality. The speech was made at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention of 1851. When originally published, the speech did not have this line, but future publications did use the phrase. She also published a set of memoirs entitled, "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave" in 1850. Since she was illiterate, her memoirs were dictated to Olive Gilbert, a friend of hers.

During the Civil War, she fought for desegregation of both the armed forces and the rest of the country, notably by riding in streetcars reserved for white people. Although she attempted to get land from the U.S. Government for freed slaves after the war, her attempt failed.

Sojourner Truth was born in New York, and her birth name was Isabella. During her time as a slave, she suffered multiple types of abuse and was sold three times. After she escaped slavery, she regained custody of her son, who had been illegally sold, and became the first black woman to win against a white man in a U.S. court.

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