Today on the Google.com home page is a Doodle for Black History month for African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. When you click on the Doodle, you get the option to see an AMP Story on desktop, not just on mobile – which may be new.
She was born in Swartekill, New York sometime in the year 1797 and passed in Battle Creek, Michigan at the age of 86 on November 26, 1883. Truth was born into slavery and escaped with her infant daughter in 1826. She became the first black woman to win a case against a white man regarding recovering her son. You can learn a lot about her life on Wikipedia.
Today’s Doodle by Philadelphia-based guest artist Loveis Wise kicks off Black History Month by celebrating Sojourner Truth, a powerful advocate for justice and equality in the United States of America during the 19th century who paved the way for future generations.
Born an enslaved person in Ulster County, New York around 1797, Isabella Baumfree endured the horrors of the American slave trade—as well as seeing her children sold into servitude. Despite the hardships she faced, she went on to win her freedom, changing her name to Sojourner Truth, and starting a new life as a traveling and prominent preacher, abolitionist, and suffragist.
During her advocacy journeys throughout the country, Truth met activists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, who encouraged her to speak out against the evils of slavery. She published a memoir in 1850, which earned her widespread acclaim as an author and speaker. She was even invited to meet with Abraham Lincoln in the White House. In her autobiography, Sojourner Truth recounted the day she escaped with her infant daughter, forced to leave her other children behind. With her daughter, she was taken in by Isaac and Maria Van Wagenen, who helped Sojourner Truth sue for the freedom of her five-year-old son Peter, who had been sold illegally by her former slavemaster. This historic lawsuit made her one of the first black women to successfully sue a white man in the U.S. The courthouse where the case was heard is referenced in today’s Doodle.
After her book’s publication, Truth began a lecture tour that included a women’s rights conference in Akron, Ohio, where she delivered the famous “Ain’t I Woman” speech. Although the exact wording of the speech is still debated, her message came through loud and clear: women of any race, color, or creed are as strong and capable as any man.
Truth’s memory and legacy continues to this day. Most recently, the US Treasury announced that she will be featured on the nation’s ten dollar bill along with other suffragists. The design for the new bill will be unveiled in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
Here’s to Sojourner Truth, who devoted her life to the cause of speaking truth to power.
You can see the AMP story over here.
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