Sojourner Truth Was A Disabled Disability Justice Activist

by Kerima: For More Info, Go Here…

It’s Black History Month, and the corporate response to this year’s remembrance is to finally lead with Sojourner Truth. They might tell you her name was Isabella Baumfree, despite the fact that she left her hated slave name behind when she gained freedom. They might tell you she escaped her bondage with her infant daughter. They might add she successfully used the U.S. court system and sued to free her son from bondage. They might post all or part of her iconic speech “Ain’t I A Woman?”

What few if any will mention, so I mention it every February, is that Sojourner Truth became a famous human rights activist and Black feminist after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the hands of her slaveholder.

Ain’t I A Woman
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

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? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?”

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