Mural de las Ancestras

Sojourner
Truth

Ancestor's Country:

Ancestor's Birth Information: 
1797
Ancestor's Relationship Other: 
Inspiration

From the first moment I read about Sojourner Truth, I fell in love with her intelligence, passion and intellectual clarity in understanding that slavery could not be eliminated without ending the oppression of all women and vice versa. Her original name was Isabella Van Wagenen, born a slave and died as one of the most important legends of feminism and American abolitionism. When she was released from slavery, she decided to change her name and gave herself that beautiful name Sojourner Truth roughly translated as "living the truth."

Despite being illiterate, Sojourner was one of the best public speakers of her time. Tall, with a powerful voice and very dark skin, she became famous for her speech "Am I not a woman?”, a speech meant to show that all the arguments that were used to deny equality between women and men based on the women’s weaknesses were false and could not be used against women like her who had worked hard since childhood and had the muscles to prove it.

As an abolitionist and a feminist, she always argued that not all slaves were male and not all women were white, explaining something that was obvious and that feminists have had to repeat over and over again even today: among people who are exploited, there is a group – women - who are exploited even more, and even within this group of women who are discriminated against, there are women who are discriminated against even more for being apart of more than one discriminated group.

I consider her my intellectual ancestor because she taught me not to be afraid of ridicule, criticism or contempt for / as intellectuals of our own movements and to always find ways to bring liberation theory to those who need to learn from it for their freedom.

Author's First Name: 
Alda
Author's Last Name: 
Facio

Author's Region:

Author Country:

Source: 
JASS Activity
JASS Activity: 
Sea Change Leadership School, Panama 2009