W A R D U N I
V E R S I T Y|
& Voices IV
AN ANTHOLOGY OF VERSE AND
An African-American Slave
Who I Admire
Sojourner Truth was a woman of outstanding courage, wisdom, and dignity. She was born when slavery and racism prevailed. Many odds were against her. She was a slave; she was black; and she was a woman. Still, Sojourner overcame these hardships. There are many reasons I admire this woman of great esteem.
Sojourner Truth was born a slave. She worked for five masters until she was freed in 1827, when the New York State Anti-Slavery Act passed. Sojourner changed her name from Isabella Baumfree when she thought she received a message from God during a prayer. She believed the Lord told her to "sojourn the land and speak the 'truth' of God's word." Although she was illiterate, she became a travelling preacher for women's rights as well as the abolition of slavery. Frederick Douglas once described her as "a strange compound of wit and wisdom, of wild enthusiasm and flintlike common sense." I appreciate her continued hard work and perseverance through the struggle. When men challenged her, and even doubted her womanhood, she still fought for their rights. On one occasion in Washington, DC, she sang and preached to raise money for black soldiers in the Union Army. Additionally, Sojourner tried to help former slaves acquire free land by addressing Congress. I honor Sojourner's bravery and determination during the African American struggle.
If Sojourner Truth were alive today, she would still preach on behalf of racial and gender equality. She would probably fight for a woman or a black man to be elected as president. Some of the Sojourner's objectives have been worked on since her death. However, her goals have not been completely accomplished yet.
The Secretary of Labor Relations for the United States of America, Alexis Herman is a modern day Sojourner Truth. Like Sojourner Truth, Herman has overcome many obstacles. A man once told her that she could only be a secretary. Today, she is the Secretary of Labor Relations. Herman has risen to a high level in government, but she still fights to help African Americans, especially women, gain better employment.
Now, it is my obligation as a young black woman to fulfill the wishes of my ancestors. The time has come for me to join the fight for gender and racial equality. I feel that I can make a difference, so I will work diligently to accomplish the goals that Sojourner Truth has set before me.