Abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and
former slave, Sojourner truth, joined the religious revivals occurring in New York State
in the early 19th century and became a powerful and charismatic speaker.
In 1843, she had a spiritual breakthrough and declared that the spirit called on her
to preach the truth and gave her a new name, Sojourner Truth
Thruth’s journey brought her in contact with abolitionists, William Lloyd Garrison and
Fredrick Douglas and women’s rights activists, like Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
In 1851, Truth went on a nationwide lecture tour and gave her most famous speech, Ain’t
I a Woman, at a women’s rights conference in Akron, Ohio where all of the other speakers
were men. In her speech, she criticized the idea of
women being the weaker sex and urged men not to fear rights for women.
It became an iconic speech in the women’s rights movement