Wonder Women #GGxPE: Sojourner Truth

In honor of our collab with the fabulous Gia Graham, Paper Epiphanies will be highlighting the 6 amazing women depicted in these cards during the entire month of February in a new series we call Wonder Women #GGxPE. In this series we aim to show you a side to these notable women that you might not have seen before by presenting, first, the brief biography found on the back of every #GGxPE card and, second, 10 fun facts about their careers, activism and lives. We hope you appreciate them as much as we do!


Sojourner Truth and Her 10 Fun Facts

First up is the inspiring Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). Born into slavery, Truth escaped to freedom with her infant daughter in 1826 then became an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Considered a radical, she sought political equality for all women.

We have already done a Woman of the Week post on this blog about this amazing lady, so for a more detailed account of her life, check the post out.

1. Truth was originally born Isabella Baumfree but changed her name in 1843 when she also became a devout Methodist.

2. Truth was one of the first black women to win against a white man in a court of law.

3. The original documentation of Truth’s most famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman”, contained no mention of these words, but instead a recording by Frances Gage twelve years after her speech was the first to quote the actual words, “Ain’t I a woman?”, which it did four times. In fact, the whole recording by Gage contained speech patterns characteristic of Southern slaves, when Truth was actually enslaved in New York and likely did not speak as such. There were many more inconsistencies in Gage’s report as well. Regardless, Gage’s version of Truth’s speech is the most famous version.

4. Truth was a mother of 5 children.

5. Truth met Abraham Lincoln in 1864, just a year before his assassination.

6. Truth’s first language was Dutch.

7. Truth’s son, Peter, for whose freedom she had fought for and won in court, disappeared several years later after taking a job on a whaling ship.

8. Truth helped recruit soldiers for the Union Army during the Civil War.

9. Truth could not write but managed to publish her memoir, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, all the same by dictating to her friend Olive Gilbert.

10. Truth was not only an advocate for women and fought against slavery, but she was one of the first to do this in one fell swoop: equality and freedom for all slaves, including women.