Sojourner Truth not only fought for Black rights, she fought for Black Women’s rights as well. One of her most legendary and well-known speeches titled “Ain’t I A Woman” was given at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851. For a former slave to be standing in front of a mixed-race and mixed-gender audience was legendary particularly since her speech directly confronted the prevalent racism of the age. Truth acknowledges how the term women is meant to apply to White women only:
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?
You tell ’em Sojourner!
What about the men who refuse to support or acknowledge the rights and humanity of their fellow women because God is male? Truth has a question for them as well:
Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from?
Sojourner Truth called out racism and sexism in a time where such honesty could not only get her ostracized it could very well get her killed, yet she said it anyway. She was serving the audience all types of intersectional realness and she continued to do it for the rest of her life while she travelled across the country and spoke in defense of women’s and Black’s rights. If that ain’t first-wave Black feminism, I don’t know what is!
While the history books are praising Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as the founders of feminism [let’s not forget they were both pretty racist], remember Sojourner Truth was not only a great abolitionist and activist she was a black feminist suffragist as well, attacking oppression on multiple fronts all while receiving very little of the credit she deserved for her contribution to the feminist fight.
Never Forget #004: Eartha Kitt Made Lady Bird Johnson Cry…And Got Blackballed for It
Never Forget #003: Everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany Was Legal
Never Forget #002: COINTELPRO
Never Forget #001: Lincoln Never Loved Us