Every now and again it’s good to walk in someone else’s shoes to gain perspective. The shoes I am talking about now have walked the road of slavery. They have been worn by an African American who was savagely beaten and mistreated. Having been sold numerous times, these shoes and their owner had seen many hardships and known no home. The owner did not submit, in will or desire, for a better life. The owner fought for justice in a sea of oppression, through the abuse, and with unimaginable strength and conviction. Who wore these shoes – Sojourner Truth – an American hero.
Have you ever been in a place where you were the distinct minority? Was it scary? Sojourner Truth experienced this every day of her life as an African American woman. Though she experienced this, she did not back down in the face of injustice, she stood tall and demanded the inalienable rights deserved by every human being who walks this planet. She fought for woman’s rights, anti-slavery laws, religious tolerance, and non-violence.
Her children were ripped away from her and sold like cattle, but she did not stop fighting. She was the first African American woman to win a court case against a white man over the sale of her son. At the end of this case, she got her son back and continued on her path of activism. She traveled all over the country speaking on behalf of justice and humanity. Sometimes she was met by warmth and sometimes, after the long trek across the country, she was met by hostility, and still she persevered. At one of these events a person accused her of being a man, so she opened her shirt and bared her breasts! “Ain’t I a woman?” she declared in one of her most famous speeches.
The sacrifice made by Sojourner Truth should never be forgotten because it is a legacy to where we are today, and where we are going tomorrow. She cast the light of humanity during the darkest times of oppression in our county. She sacrificed and fought so that others after her might not have to. Thank goodness for Truth.