Sojourner Truth: have you heard of her? Honestly, I didn’t know much about her until I read her autobiography, began researching her further, and talked to my friend Michelle. And y’all, she is one powerhouse of a woman, a human, a former-slave-turned-abolititionist, among other things. So, I’d love for you to get to know her as I’ve begun to get to know her this summer.
You can head over to Gifted for Leadership to read the full article, or check out a portion of it right here:
Powerhouse is not a word often used to describe women of the 19th century, but Sojourner Truth is not like most of our spiritual mothers. An itinerant preacher turned abolitionist, and an early voice in the fight for women’s rights, Truth poured out her life for the marginalized and the oppressed.
Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Van Wagenen—as she was called at birth—was separated from her parents at nine years of age. She was sold on an auction block for $100, with six sheep thrown in to “sweeten the deal.” Over the years, she faced sexual, physical, and emotional abuse at the hands of her masters, but somehow persevered. Many saw her as the lowest of society—not only black, but also a woman—but she overcame unfathomable adversity. From birth, the cards were stacked against her, but she retained a steady faith in the God who sees and hears every single one of his children.
When she was 29, Sojourner’s life began to take a positive turn. Although she couldn’t read or write, Truth escaped slavery with her infant daughter in 1826. A year later, the New York State Emancipation Act declared her a free woman. She soon learned that her five-year-old son, Peter, had been illegally sold into slavery in Alabama; so, in 1828, with the help of the Quakers, she sued the owner and became the first black woman to win a case against a white man in court. Some say this series of events gave Truth the gumption to step further into the life she was meant to live.
This is only the beginning of her story, and I’m telling you: if your heart beats wildly for the marginalized and the oppressed, you’ve got to continue getting to know this truth-teller. Click here and read the rest of the story!
So, what females in history have been influential to you? What famous historical figure CHANGED the way you live today?
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