“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again.” – Sojourner Truth (1851)
“Ain’t I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth was born a slave. After suffering years of abuse at the hands of several different owners, she gained her freedom on July 4, 1827. For the rest of her life, she worked tirelessly to end slavery, to help the many freed blacks who were suffering and to advance women’s rights.
Sojourner traveled constantly, powerfully speaking and singing at meetings all over the Northeast and Midwest, often with Frederick Douglass. In 1850, she published an account of her life, Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Her last campaign was fought to secure land in Kansas and Missouri for freed slaves who were living in misery on the East coast. She died in 1883 and was buried in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The dedication of Sojourner Truth to human rights, especially for women and children, makes her the perfect model for this ministry. The name, Sojourner Truth House, was inspired by her words: “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down, all alone or together, women ought to be able to turn the world right side up again.”
On April 28, 2009, Speaker Pelosi and Members of Congress were joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to unveil a bust by sculptor Artis Lane of Sojourner Truth. The bust is the first sculpture to honor an African American woman in the US Capitol and was donated by the National Congress of Black Women.