Sojourner Truth's Speech

2011 Words9 Pages
“Remarkable independence and courageous self-assertion,” as so eloquently spoken by abolitionist Frederick Douglass of Sojourner Truth (qtd. in Kort). This woman, admired by Douglass and nearly all, lived up to this description throughout her entire life. She embodied many traits that Americans strive to obtain such as faith, strength, and a fearless grasp on justice. Truth didn’t heed anyone else’s orders and refused to accept what a black person or a woman “should be.” Sojourner Truth spent her early life as a slave, born Isabella Hardenbergh, and she worked just as hard as many men (Helmer). In this time period, the early 1800s, slaves were treated horribly and blacks and women had no rights. Through all the injustice facing her during…show more content…
Truth was well known for her passionate speeches, and she joined the women’s suffrage movement when she realized women were like slaves to men (Helmer). In 1851, Sojourner Truth arrived unexpected at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. She found that ministers dominated the first part of the convention, criticizing the women’s desire for more rights. One minister claimed men were smarter than women, so men should have more rights. Another said that Christ is a man. A third commented how the Bible says man is sinned when taking the apple from the serpent, not women, so therefor it was God’s wish to make women inferior. However, most of the women at the convention were too proper to speak out. When no one was brave enough to defend themselves, Truth spoke up. The crowd boo-ed and hissed when they saw a black woman start to speak; even though they couldn’t stand up for themselves, they didn’t want a black person to stand up for them. Truth didn’t listen to their jeers and kept a level head as she simply gave her speech in quiet tones. This is an example of Truth’s _____, how she doesn’t resort to violence but is peaceful in her protests. To the first man, she said intellect has nothing to do with rights. Then she cried, “Look at me! Look at my arm! I have plowed and planted and gathered into barns. And no one could head me! And a’n’t I a…show more content…
Lincoln and Truth discussed matters concerning the Civil War effort, such as what the future of ex-slaves would be. Truth was a passionate advocate of her people, and was concerned that they would not have enough land or opportunities. When she advocated her opinions to the President, she continued fighting for former slaves, even in her old age, now at a higher level in the government. Lincoln replied by praising her for her previous work helping former slaves, showing again his high regards for Truth. Later, Truth said she was always happy that she had “advocated his cause and have done it openly and boldly. I shall feel still more in duty bound to do so in time to come” (qtd. In Claflin 104). The respect was mutual between Truth and Lincoln, and their meeting changed Truth so that she will now strive even more to help achieve the nation that Lincoln envisioned. Truth continued to help the Abolitionist Movement in the time after this meeting. Shortly after she met Abraham Lincoln, Truth was appointed Counselor to Ex-Slaves in Virginia. When she got this important position, it proved that the meeting gained Truth (respect?credit?) when people saw how Truth was treated by the President. Meeting President Lincoln was a major accomplishment of Sojourner Truth that culminated all of her previous efforts in the Civil War, and was a step forward in relationships between white and black
Open Document